Cost of higher education in Nevada may get higher |

Cost of higher education in Nevada may get higher

RENO (AP) – Nevada regents will vote this week on a proposal to raise tuition and fees for university and community college students.

Higher education administrators are recommending raising in-state tuition by 4.5 percent for community college students, 11 percent for university undergraduates and 15 percent for graduate students.

Officials say the increased costs are in line with what other institutions charge in neighboring states.

The recommendation also includes increases in tuition and fees for out-of-state students and for the students enrolled in Nevada’s medical, dental and law schools.

If approved Thursday, the higher fees would take effect in fall 2007 and generate about $45 million over the next four years, a portion of which goes to the state.

Regents also will discuss, but take no formal action, on a proposal to impose tougher admission standards sooner than previously agreed upon.

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Four years ago, regents voted to raise admission standards for the state’s two universities in Reno and Las Vegas from a 2.75 grade-point average to 3.0, beginning in 2010.

The board will consider implementing the higher standard three years earlier, beginning in 2007.

The tougher entrance requirement is needed to ensure students are ready for university level studies, officials said, adding that those unprepared academically should first enroll at a community college or the state college.

But critics argue the move would be unfair to current high school students, particularly minorities.

“I support having higher achievement levels for our students, but what has not happened at this point is a better conversation about how to prepare students who are at the high school level right now,” said Fatima Rivas, Hispanic community liaison for the Washoe County School District.

“I understand that it’s important for students to be prepared to go to college, but there also has to be an effort to close that gap so they can achieve that higher GPA to get into the colleges and the universities,” she said.