LAS VEGAS – The opportunity to succeed at the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) has improved for Native Americans and Nevada National Guard family members thanks to fee waivers created during the 81st legislative session.
Waivers for certain fees are currently available for Native American students and family members of the Nevada National Guard for the fall 2021 semester and beyond.
Aimed at removing financial barriers to higher education for certain Native American students and family members of the Nevada National Guard, the fee waivers were enacted into law by Governor Sisolak and the Nevada Legislature.
“The fee waivers will assist these specific student populations to access the superb higher education opportunities available at Nevada’s public universities and colleges,” said Board of Regents Chair Cathy McAdoo.
For Native American students, Assembly Bill 262 allows a waiver of registration and other fees for members or descendants of a federally recognized Indian tribe or nation located within Nevada. Eligibility includes a student being a Nevada resident for a year, maintaining a minimum 2.0 semester grade point average, and completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
“Just one hour and 10 minutes after NSHE posted the Native American Fee Waiver, a completed form was received by one of our Indigenous Student Services Coordinators,” said Stacey Montooth, executive director of the Nevada Indian Commission. “By removing perhaps, the biggest barrier—cost—for our Paiute, Shoshone and Washoe students, this fee waiver is going to positively change the lives of not just our youth, but our families and our Native American communities.”
Meanwhile, Assembly Bill 156 expanded the fee waiver for active duty members of the Nevada National Guard by allowing such members to transfer existing registration and laboratory fee waivers to a spouse or child during a period of reenlistment. Eligibility includes the student maintaining a minimum 2.0 semester grade point average.
“This legislation serves as a critical retention tool for members of the Nevada National Guard,” said Maj. Gen. Ondra Berry, Nevada Adjutant General. “Training takes time and money. Providing an incentive for Soldiers and Airmen to remain in the Nevada Guard maintains force readiness and saves taxpayer money. This is also a great way to thank our Guardsmen who have done so much throughout our state’s COVID-19 response, overseas deployments, wildland firefighting and civil unrest over the course of the last 18 months.”
Chancellor Melody Rose added, “I want to thank Governor Sisolak and the Nevada Legislature for creating these waivers that will increase access to NSHE’s degree-granting institutions. These waivers are a great way to thank Nevada’s National Guard members and their families for their service and to encourage Native Americans, a traditionally underrepresented student population, to achieve their higher education dreams.”
Students can learn more about accessing these waivers by contacting NSHE’s degree-granting institutions or visiting NSHE’s website here: https://nshe.nevada.edu/info-center/nshe-forms/.
The Nevada System of Higher Education, comprised of two doctoral-granting research universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges, and one environmental research institute, serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 100,000 students and is governed by the Nevada Board of Regents. The System includes the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada State College, Desert Research Institute, the College of Southern Nevada, Great Basin College, Truckee Meadows Community College, and Western Nevada College.