Makenzie Ratliff is in her first year at TMCC, working toward an Associate of Science degree. As a high school student in Elko, Ratliff’s original college plans had involved going to an out-of-state university. “I had applied and was accepted to a few schools,” she said, knowing that the financial burden would be considerable—as one of four siblings, she knew she would have to work part-time to help support herself through college. Because of this, she had also considered staying in her hometown by taking classes at Great Basin College. Then, through “Senior Meetings” held by her high school’s Counseling Department, Ratliff learned about the Nevada Promise Scholarship.
“They said it was a great opportunity because it would offer me the ability to go to college at a low cost,” she said. With some assistance from her counselors, she began the application process. As a last-dollar scholarship, Nevada Promise can cover up to three years of the cost to eligible students for registration fees and other mandatory fees at a community college not covered by other forms of financial aid. This enabled Ratliff to do something she hadn’t originally planned on: she relocated to Reno and enrolled at TMCC—she is getting the experience of living someplace new while she pursues her academic goals but without the added cost of out-of-state tuition.
About the Nevada Promise Scholarship
The Nevada Promise Scholarship was established by the Nevada Legislature to encourage Nevada high school graduates to attend community college. While the application process still requires multiple steps to complete, this year offers several updates that will make the application process easier. The first step? Interested high school students need to fill out the online Nevada Promise Scholarship Application and submit it no later than midnight on Oct. 31.
However, if the process of applying for the scholarship scared you away, you might want to reconsider. This year, some of the more notable changes to the application process include:
- Students only have to apply one time for the scholarship instead of having to re-apply every year;
- The scholarship is open to undocumented students;
- Under certain circumstances students may request a leave of absence;
- Students who have a documented disability and who are actively working with TMCC’s Disability Resource Center may not have to enroll full-time if they qualify;
- Nevada Promise Scholars must complete 8 hours of volunteer service;
- The deadline to attend information training, to apply to TMCC and to complete the FAFSA has been extended to March 1. This gives you additional time to think about your options.
There’s Still Time to Apply
Ratliff says that for her, the process of applying for Nevada Promise was painless. “They make it super easy,” she said. “They follow up with you, send you reminders and emails.” The extended deadline of March can also enable you to make the decision that’s in the best interests of your academic future based on your academic performance in the fall semester.
For Ratliff, she’s happy with her decision to attend TMCC. “I have many of the same professors who teach at UNR, and I am going to college for free,” she said. Ratliff, who is planning on continuing her education at UNR to major in Kinesiology, has set her sights on becoming a Physical Therapist. The Nevada Promise Scholarship is helping her reach these goals. “It’s really a great opportunity,” she said.
For more information about the Nevada Promise Scholarship, contact TMCC at 775-673-8236.