Education

Nevada Scholarship Program in Trouble, Treasurer Warns

September 21, 2004 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Nevada’s Millennium Scholarship program is becoming a victim of its own success.

State Treasurer Brian K. Krolicki says surging demand for the college scholarships is combining with a drop in revenue from cigarette sales to place the tuition aid in jeopardy.

Mr. Krolicki discussed his concerns with the state board of regents recently. He also suggested reducing the amount of the scholarships and committing $100 million in future unclaimed-property revenues, such as forgotten bank accounts, to pay for the program.

The Millennium Scholarship program receives 40 percent of Nevada’s $1.2 billon in payments over 25 years from the 1999 settlement of a multistate lawsuit against tobacco companies. But as more students seek the scholarships, a dip in tobacco sales is in turn reducing the amount of payments from the settlement.

To qualify, a student must graduate from a Nevada high school with at least a 3.1 grade point average.

When the program was conceived in 1999, the state treasury department estimated that 50 percent of Nevada’s graduating high school seniors would use the program, and that the state would pay out $43 million for the scholarships through 2004.

Brian K. Krolicki

Treasury officials say that nearly 74 percent of students from the class of 2004 have begun receiving the aid, and that the amount allocated has reached $67 million. If the trend continues, officials estimate, the program will see a critical funding shortage by the fall of 2005.

Kathy Besser, the chief of staff for the office of the state treasurer noted that 23,000 students have received Millennium Scholarships since the program’s inception. She estimates that nearly 8,000 students a year currently qualify.

If something isn’t done soon to supplement lost tobacco revenues, the fund won’t last, warned Mr. Krolicki, a Republican who has been trying to persuade the legislature to commit new sources of funding.

Legislative Plan

Despite being given the legislative cold shoulder in the past, the treasurer’s office has drafted a bill that proposes changes to the program. The bill will be presented during the legislative session that begins in January.

Currently, eligible Nevada residents who attend a college or university in the state can receive up to $10,000 in total tuition assistance under the program if they maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average in college. Students who drop below that mark can reclaim their scholarships if they raise their grades.

The program does not limit the number of college credits financed per semester. The treasurer’s office proposes a cap of 12 credits per semester and would bar students who lose their scholarships from regaining them. If legislators don’t pass the changes, Mr. Krolicki said in an interview, the state will have to appropriate between $35 million and $45 million next year to keep the program alive.

“This is, perhaps, one of the greatest programs in Nevada. It’s critical for Nevada’s economic future,” Mr. Krolicki said.

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean
Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: September 28, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: September 21, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: September 7, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: August 31, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read