By Zach Conine
Nevada State Treasurer
The Nevada State Treasurer’s College Savings Division is committed to helping Nevadans in planning, saving and paying for higher education. The division offers a variety of programs and services aimed at making higher education a realistic option for every Nevadan.
529 College Savings Plan
Nevada’s 529 College Savings Plans are designed to assist parents and students in saving for future college expenses. 529 College Savings Account earnings grow tax-deferred and are federally tax-free when used for qualified educational expenses at eligible higher education institutions.
Prepaid Tuition Program
The Nevada Prepaid Tuition Program locks in future in-state college tuition at today’s prices. By enrolling in the Prepaid Tuition Program, families no longer have to worry about the rising cost of college tuition and how they’re going to pay for their child’s future education. The program is a qualified 529 plan which means it provides the tax advantages of a 529 Savings Account, all while providing contract holders the peace of mind that comes from knowing their child can graduate from college relatively debt-free.
College Kick Start Program
The Nevada College Kick Start Program (CKS) establishes an automatic $50 scholarship for all public-school kindergarten students in the state. The division administers the program by overseeing all scholarship accounts, educating Nevadans about CKS, assisting families with accessing their child’s scholarship via an online portal and conducting community outreach.
Millennium & Memorial Scholarships
Established during the 70th Nevada Legislative Session in 1999, the Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship (GGMS) provides a $10,000 merit-based scholarship to high-achieving Nevada high schoolers for use at eligible in-state colleges and universities. Traditional Nevada high school graduates are automatically eligible for the award if they fulfill the statutory eligibility requirements.
The division also administers the associated Governor Guinn Memorial Scholarship, which awards four $5,000 scholarships to eligible Nevada students majoring in elementary or secondary education who are entering their senior year in college, and who commit to teaching in Nevada following graduation.
Following the death of former Governor Kenny C. Guinn in July 2010, a separate account within the GGMS Trust Fund was established to accept donations in his honor. Each year, scholarship applications are reviewed by the division for eligibility and qualified recipients are selected by the Board of Trustees of the College Savings Plans of Nevada.
Student Loans & College Savings
More recently, a Student Loan Ombudsperson Program was created within the division. The Student Loan Ombudsperson provides programming to educate student loan borrowers on their rights and responsibilities and facilitates resolution of borrower complaints against student loan servicers. Similarly, the College Savings Navigator works to build relationships with local education staff and administration and provides institutions, school districts, community partners, students and families with information on pursuing postsecondary education.
Division staff works tirelessly to meet Nevadans where they are and provides residents with the tools and resources they need to help navigate payments for higher education. The team is available to answer questions, present to community organizations, and provide information and resources on financial aid, scholarships and student loans.