A plan to raise tuition at colleges and universities statewide narrowly passed the Nevada Board of Regents in a 7-6 vote Friday.
Beginning in fall 2015, undergraduate fees at the state’s schools will rise 4 percent each year for four years, and graduate fees will rise 2 percent each year for four years. Undergraduate fees at Nevada State College will rise 2.5 percent in the first year and 3.5 percent for the next three years.
“Increasing the cost of a college education is never an easy decision,” Dan Klaich, chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education, said in a statement. “We have continued to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and explore new revenue options. These increases will help us improve our student services and classroom instruction.”
Increased fees will affect Western Nevada College, University of Nevada, Reno, UNLV, College of Southern Nevada, Nevada State College, Great Basin College and Truckee Meadows Community College.
By 2018, students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, or University of Nevada, Reno, will pay $6,720 a year, up from $5,745 a year now.
About 30 students attended the regents’ meeting in Reno and in satellite locations in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Some supported the hike, saying it would help improve their schools, but most opposed it, saying it would pose a financial hardship.
“I might have to drop out, go to community college or become a part-time student and full-time employee,” said Betzabe Sanchez, a student government senator and engineering student at UNLV.
Elias Benjelloun, UNLV’s undergraduate student body president, expressed disappointment the vote was held after classes had let out for the summer.
“It made it very difficult for us to voice our opinions and our concerns to regents,” he said.
Student tuition covers about one-third of the operating budget for Nevada’s colleges and universities, while the state appropriates about two-thirds of the funds.