Lake Tahoe Community College reinstates tuition discount for local Nevada students |

Lake Tahoe Community College reinstates tuition discount for local Nevada students

Students from the Nevada side of the Tahoe Basin are once again eligible for reduced tuition at LTCC.
Courtesy / LTCC |

Nevada residents in the Tahoe Basin will once again be eligible for reduced prices on non-resident tuition at Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC) this fall.

After five years of campaigning for legislative action in Nevada and California, a new interstate agreement is in place allowing LTCC to offer reduced tuition to students in Crystal Bay, Incline Village, Glenbrook, Zephyr Cove and Stateline.

It’s been a long road, according to Lisa Shafer, Secretary to the LTCC Board of Trustees. She said the 2011 decision by the Nevada Board of Regents to end the Good Neighbor Policy was a huge hit to students across the state line. Full-time Nevada students that once paid California resident rates — $1,395 a year — were then required to pay $7,650.

LTCC began to see a decline in the number of students from the Nevada-side of the Tahoe Basin, according to statistics tracked by Jeremy Brown, the director of institutional effectiveness at the college. For the 2010-11 school year there were 137 students, but the number continued to drop over the years to 57 for the 2015-16 school year.

When Kindred Murillo took on the role of LTCC president in 2011, the college’s Board of Trustees tasked her with bringing back the Good Neighbor Policy.

“We had a number of Senate bills that we tried to push through over the years and each time it would be kicked back due to the perception that everyone in Lake Tahoe is wealthy,” said Shafer.

“Kindred and our trustees walked the halls of the legislature and worked to really communicate what the focus was — employment skills and work placement for people who may be place-bound and can’t afford to leave the hill or to pay for a four-year university.”

With the help of Nevada State Senator James Settlemeyer and California Assemblyman Ted Gaines, legislation in Nevada and California was pushed through over the last year, paving the way for LTCC to offer reduced fees — $93 per unit as opposed to $181 for non-residents and $31 for California residents. This price, however, is only available for the first 100 eligible students who can prove they have lived in Nevada for at least one year.

In a letter to California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. requesting support for the legislation, LTCC pointed to the unique dichotomy in the population of the Tahoe Basin.

“The Basin is a one of a kind geographic, political, and economic region comprised of two states, five counties, and multiple cities and municipalities. The Basin is often inaccurately characterized as a wealthy community. In truth, two classes dominate: the more affluent non-resident second homeowners and retirees, and the resident service class who work in the casinos, hotels, restaurants and recreation industry.

“If these residents cannot attend a local college, they may never have the opportunity to obtain contemporary workforce training and skills, and attain a better quality of life for themselves and their families. Many of these students come to Tahoe as service industry workers, make minimum wage, and are English learners.”

The letter is signed by a number of local businesses and organizations, including the bi-state Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce, which was an active supporter of reinstating the Good Neighbor Policy.

“It’s a huge step,” said Tahoe Chamber interim president Steve Teshara. “The chamber’s government affairs committee worked very closely with the college on the legislation we needed to get in place in both California and Nevada. The legislation set the framework for the educational system and how it would be structured and who it would affect geographically.”

Students who wish to apply for the first-come, first-serve discounted tuition can now apply through LTCC’s website, Registration for fall classes starts Aug. 26.

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