Financial Aid and Student Loans in Nevada

College is daunting enough without adding the headache of navigating financial aid as a prerequisite. Financing your college can be a confusing mess if you’ve never done it before. There are various deadlines to consider, an endless stream of applications to complete, and qualifications to ponder over—all before you get to college and begin classes.

At Funding U, we want to make sure your college plans go as smoothly as possible, which is why we’ve written this guide about the state of financial aid in Nevada. We’ll give an overview of what to expect while financing your academic career so that it’s all in one place and easy to reference.

Below, you’ll find brief explanations of financing options and short reviews of any eligibility requirements. We’ve also listed the possible award amounts you can expect to receive from each of the financial aid tools.

What scholarship programs does Nevada have?

When thinking about attending college, many high school students first think of scholarships in the way that these mechanisms are popularized in the media, but it is more straightforward in real life.

Scholarships generally come in two categories—either Academic or Athletic. Athletic scholarships are specific to excellent performance in sport throughout college and are usually offered by particular institutions to incentivize students towards continued athletic excellence. These scholarships are more varied, so we won’t be addressing athletic scholarships in this post.

Instead, we’ll review some of the most popular academic scholarships available in Nevada. In this section, we’ll give you a brief overview of some of these financial awards, requirements, and amounts on offer.

Scholarships are frequently administered on a first-come, first-serve basis, and usually have strict performance requirements. It’s best to apply early to secure eligibility.

Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship

The Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship, named for the former governor of Nevada and signed into law in 2011, is a generous award for four of the highest performing applicants in Nevada colleges. It awards $5,000 to four students—two in Northern Nevada and two in Southern Nevada. These recipients are usually in their senior year of college at one of the designated colleges.

Eligible applicants must be in their final year of college, enrolled in programs that will lead to acquiring a license in elementary or secondary school education. Prospective winners of the award must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 or the equivalent. They must also demonstrate a record of community service and commit to teaching after graduation.

Nevada Promise Scholarship

The Nevada Promise Scholarship is reserved primarily for students attending a two-year community college in Nevada. It doesn’t have a set amount that it distributes per award. Instead, it’s a ‘last dollar’ scholarship designed to bridge the gap between the total tuition costs minus all other grants and loans awarded.

There are no grade requirements for this scholarship, nor any minimum SAT scores. Still, eligible recipients must be a resident of Nevada, and a US citizen who is currently enrolled in a two-year community college within the state to apply.

Community Foundation Scholarships

The Community Foundation has a great resource available, listing dozens of Nevada-specific scholarships. Check it out!

What grant programs does Nevada have?

In addition to the well-known Pell Grant offered by the federal government, the state of Nevada provides a few grant programs for students.

Education grants are not loans, so it doesn’t need to be repaid. It relieves students of excess debt if they qualify. At Funding U, we encourage students to pursue as many grant options as possible to reduce the debt load upon graduation.

Much of the time, grants are less strict with the requirements than scholarships, though the awards are generally smaller, which makes this avenue even more appealing to students. In this section, we’ll detail the grants available in Nevada as well as provide a brief examination of the requirements.

Nevada lacks a robust grant system, however. Students are encouraged to focus their application on acquiring federal Pell grants as a primary focus.

Nevada Grant-in-Aid (NGIA)

Nevada doesn’t have many grant programs open to general students throughout the state. A popular grant that may help students attending the University of Nevada at Las Vegas is the Nevada Grant-in-Aid. It offers between $1,000 to $5,100 for students who demonstrate financial need.

The award is renewable, but there isn’t much information available online detailing how to apply and when, so it’s best to contact the relevant offices.

Eligible students must be residents of Nevada and citizens of the US with at least a 2.3 cumulative GPA by the time they graduate. The total award per qualifying student is determined by need, as demonstrated with the FAFSA form. There are no restrictions on what course to pursue, so it may be a good option if your educational plans are taking you to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Nevada State Access Grant

The Nevada Access Grant provides up to $1,250 for students to attend the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It’s on a first-come, first-serve basis with a limited number of awards available.

The state grant is open to all majors, but specific to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The educational requirement is less strict than many other financing options, making it a good fit for students who didn’t fare as well as they hoped in high school academically.

Eligible students need only a cumulative GPA of 2.3 or higher, but they must be full-time students who are residents of Nevada and US citizens or eligible non-citizens.

Applicants must submit a FAFSA application to demonstrate financial need. The total amount awarded yearly varies, so it’s best to get the form in as soon as possible.

For more information, contact the financial aid office of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

Bob Davis Scholarship Grant

Another grant exclusive to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is the Bob Davis Scholarship Grant. In spite of its confusing name, it is a grant that offers an award of $1,000 to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate dire financial need on their FAFSA application.

Like the grants mentioned above, the distribution of the Bob Davis award is on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s a good idea to have your application in early to be eligible.

For more information, contact the financial aid office at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

What student loan programs does Nevada have?

The state of Nevada doesn’t provide any specific loan programs devoted to prospective students.

The University of Nevada at Reno has two unique loan financing options available, however. We’ve outlined the details briefly below. Aside from these options, students should apply for standard student loans as a last resort to cover any costs unpaid by grants or scholarships.

Garvey-Rhodes and Blundell Undergraduate loans

The Garvey-Rhodes Loan and the Blundell Loan are specific, low-interest loans funded by an institutional endowment specifically for the University of Nevada at Reno. Interest rates are fixed at 5 percent, with no processing fees.

Students aren’t required to pay anything back if they remain students attending the University at Reno. Repayment begins six months after graduation.

For eligibility requirements, applicants are encouraged to contact the University of Nevada, Reno’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Federal Nursing Student Loan

Another loan program offered by the University of Nevada at Reno is the Federal Nursing Student Loan, designated specifically for students attending the Orvis School of Nursing.

Like the Garvey-Rhodes and Blundell loans above, it’s a low-interest loan with no processing fees. The fixed interest rate stands at 5 percent with no interest accrued while you remain a student of the school of nursing, even if you’re enrolled less than half-time.

The best approach is to contact the University of Nevada, Reno’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship for complete details on eligibility requirements, terms, and applications.

Federal student loans

Prospective Nevada students can receive federal financial aid assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA). 

Private co-signed student loans

There are many private student loan opportunities for those who need additional assistance on top of federal student loans. Many banks, credit unions, and dedicated lending companies offer private student loans, but almost all require a co-signer.

No co-signer student loans in Nevada

Funding U began because we identified thousands of students who were unable to qualify for a private student loan because they didn’t have an eligible co-signer. While we’re no longer the only provider of such loans, we offer no co-signer student loans to career-focused students currently enrolled full time in college. The requirements for receiving a loan are dependent upon the GPA of the student and the graduation rate of the institution they attend. To learn more about our no co-signer student loans click here.  Note: Loans vary by state and residents of Nevada are not eligible at this time.

What schools does Funding U lend to in Nevada?

Funding U’s no co-signer loans are offered to students at eligible four-year, non-profit, undergraduate degree-granting universities. We do not lend to for-profit schools, 2-year schools, graduate schools, or trade schools.

Our eligibility requirements are based on models that predict how likely a student is to graduate, and we have minimum GPA requirements that students must meet and minimum six-year graduation rates that schools must reach to be eligible.

Find out more about how we determine our eligibility here.

Below is a table listing all the schools in Nevada that Funding U is currently lending to, with additional details on which grades we are currently considering based on the school’s six-year graduation rate.  NOTE: Funding U does not offer loans to residents of the state of Nevada.  However, if you are attending a school located in Nevada and are a resident of another state that is eligible you may apply.

School NameFreshman
6 yr
Grad Rate
Nevada State CollegeNoNoNoNo1971
Sierra Nevada CollegeNoNoNoNo4768
University of Nevada-Las VegasNoNoNoNo4374
University of Nevada-RenoNoNoYesYes5881

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