Be Smart About College Tuition
Tuition for Nevada residents in-state is usually lower than tuition at a private university or out-of-state school
As the cost of a college education continues to increase, the importance of an education increases right along with it. Many families are faced with limited choices when it comes to further education after high school, but there are things you can do to lower costs of a college degree in the Silver State.
Tuition for Nevada residents at an in-state school is usually lower than tuition at a private university or out-of-state school. For example, the per-credit cost at Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) is $98.75 per college credit, while the per-credit cost at the University of Nevada Reno (UNR) for Nevada residents is $207.25 per credit. So, when looking for the right school to fit your child’s education needs as well as your pocketbook, look at the many options available right here in our state.
Nevada’s Community Colleges
As you can see, attending community college in Nevada costs much less than starting as a freshman at a four-year university, even though the course offerings may be very similar. TMCC is a two-year school offering day and evening classes, and community colleges have open enrollment as part of their mandate.
Take beginning courses at a community college that you know will transfer over to a university: English 101, Psychology 101, Chemistry, History – and then transfer the credits to a four-year school. You may be able to save thousands in tuition, and still graduate from a prestigious four-year school.
Talk to a guidance counselor at the local community college to design a course program that will enable you to transfer credits after two years of study and savings.
Save Money on Room and Board
Room and board is one of the biggest expenses students face. Save money by living off campus and sharing housing with two or three roommates. Prepare your own meals and save even more on food costs each semester.
Some parents have discovered that they can purchase a condominium near the campus where their child attends school. Purchasing living space can actually generate income in the form of roommate rent – income that can offset the cost of the mortgage payment or possibly even tuition and fees.
Buy or Rent Used Textbooks
A single textbook can cost upwards of $200 for some college classes, and some college professors may require more than one textbook for each class. Visit the university book store and head straight for the used book section to save on textbooks. Also, there are numerous online web sites that sell used textbooks at a fraction of the cost of a new book, including Amazon.com®.
Some web sites allow students to rent textbooks – a great way to learn and to save. After all, your child will only use that book for a single semester, so renting textbooks makes sound economic sense. Web sites like textbookrentals.com and valorebooks.com offer textbook rental services that may save a bundle on the cost of education.
Keep Technology Costs Down
Most college students need a computer to take notes and prepare papers. Nevada campuses maintain wi-fi networks that enable students to wirelessly communicate with each other and with professors. If your child’s laptop isn’t wireless-compatible, purchase a wireless modem to get plugged in to the campus grid. Students can even use their smart phones as modems, which can save on calls to home base.
Take Public Transportation
Encourage your student to leave the car at home. Nevada’s campuses offer a variety of public transportation to move students around campus and off campus in the immediate vicinity of the school. Using the school’s shuttle bus service can cut the cost of gas, repairs, auto insurance, parking fees and other car expenses that add to the cost of a college education.
Many Nevada colleges and universities offer student health care plans at reduced premiums. In the past, the quality of coverage varied greatly from state to state, but the Affordable Care Act requires student health coverage to provide prescription benefits, raises maximum coverage levels and requires universities to offer free preventative care. In addition to university-sponsored health care programs, many insurers now offer health care coverage to college students up to the age of 26 under a parent’s policy. Talk to a school admissions professional about university-sponsored insurance programs, and see how that cost compares to keeping your college student on your personal or workplace-sponsored health plan.
Visit the Nevada System of Higher Education Website
The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) maintains a comprehensive web site that provides information on state schools. You can access this invaluable resource at system.nevada.edu/nshe to discover information on financial aid, admission requirements and other information to help you choose the best school for your college-aged children.
Talk to your child’s high school guidance counselor, or a college admissions expert, to discover all the different ways you can lower the cost of a quality education in the state of Nevada.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC