Courtesy Jamie McNinch, Western Nevada College
Wouldn’t your savings account look significantly better with at least several thousand dollars more in it?
For students seeking higher education, there is one foolproof way to save thousands of dollars in the first two years of college: start at a junior college.
By attending Western Nevada College for the first two years of post-secondary education, students can save a considerable amount of money in tuition and fees before taking upper-division courses in their major at a university.
The money that Nevada resident students can save in tuition and fees per year could be enough to purchase a decent used car or pay for a good chunk of their housing for the year.
More importantly, it could mean working less so they can focus on their studies. And in many cases it can mean minimizing their debt until they begin to focus on the concentration of classes for a particular major.
Students can save additional money funding their education by applying for financial aid and scholarships.
Many students don’t realize that it isn’t necessary to attend a four-year university from the start. Resident students can save more than $10,000 in tuition and fees by attending a junior college such as WNC for the first two years.
“It’s a better bargain at WNC because they can get the courses that they need to transfer to the university,” said WNC Director of Financial Aid JW Lazzari. “A lot of students also come here because of the convenience of being closer to home, so they can continue to live at home and they don’t have to pay parking and other university fees.”
If the students are living at home, they are likely not paying as much for rent as they would in a university city.
Annually, WNC full-time students pay approximately $3,045 for in-state tuition and fees, compared to $7,929 for University of Nevada, Reno students. Those costs significantly rise for out-of-state residents.
In terms of the cost per credit, UNR enrollees will shell out $215.50, while at WNC it’s only $101.50 (including a $6.50 tech fee).
Semester tuition costs for WNC students are approximately $1,522.50 for in-state residents who are enrolled in 15 credits, compared to $3,964.50 to attend UNR. Built into this UNR’s total are fees allocated to the health center ($93), counseling services ($50), performing arts ($5), fitness center ($45), undergraduate new student ($150), application ($60) and academic success ($25).
WNC’s fees are barely noticeable to what students incur at a university. There is a $6.50 per unit technology fee, a $15 registration application fee and a $5 Web fee for online courses.
At UNR, students can expect to pay a $5 ASUN fee per credit, a $9 technology fee per credit, a $25 student union fee (enrolled in less than four credits) and a $94 student union fee (enrolled in four or more credits), as well as a $107.75 fee per credit for excess credits.
Some additional fees that UNR students are assessed include up to $400 per year for parking; $34 for online learning, weekend and late start fee per credit; and a special course fee that varies.
As any budget-conscious college student can see, it pays to begin their college education at a junior college such as Western Nevada.
Fall class registration for new students begins Monday, April 17. Students can apply for fall admission at www.wnc.edu/admissions/registration/.