Nevada Student Grants for College
Fund Your Education with Free Grant Money
The recession has changed the way a number of states operate in terms of education funding. Many states, including Nevada, have learned to achieve results despite the inevitable diminution of tax revenue, and the state of Nevada has chosen to focus its attention on encouraging students and their families to take advantage of tax laws by creating college savings accounts.
Both of Nevada’s new grants depend on student participation in one of the many college savings plans now available, and Nevada makes recommendations on this page. Current recommendations include the SSgA Upromise 529 Plan, the Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan, the USAA 529 College Savings Plan, and Putnam 529 for America, but be sure to check the page to find the most up-to-date listings.
Grants From The State Of Nevada
These two student grants are both tied to college savings programs, and come in the form of matching funds. Both require you to open, and deposit into, a specific college savings plan, so that should factor into your choice of plan. And since both matching grants offered have limited funds at their disposal, it is in your best interest to enroll as quickly as possible. The opening date for applications is March 1, so don’t delay.
Note: Federal tax is deferred on your savings, and withdrawals that are qualified under the tax laws that apply to college savings plans are tax exempt.
Silver State Matching Grant Program
The Silver State Matching Grant Program requires you to open an SSgA Upromise 529 account. To be eligible, your household must have an adjusted gross income (AGI) that is under $61,950, both the account’s beneficiary and the accountholder must reside in Nevada, and the beneficiary must be under 13 at the time of approval for the first matching grant.
If you qualify, the most you can receive in matching money in any given year is $300, and the highest total possible overall is $1,500. There is a scale that determines the percentage amount of the match, depending on household income:
- AGI of $0 to $41,300: match is one dollar for every dollar you deposit, up to the $300/$1,500 limits.
- AGI of $41,300 to $61,950: match is one dollar for each two-dollar personal contribution.
If you sign up to have deposits automatically debited from your account, you may have it done by a deduction from your paycheck (if your employer has direct deposit) or by arranging a monthly withdrawal from your account. That method permits you to make very small ($15 minimum) regular contributions to your SSgA Upromise 529 account.
USAA Distinguished Valor Matching Grant Program
The USAA Distinguished Valor Matching Grant Program was originally for military children who have experienced a parent’s death or injury in action, but now it applies to children of any active member of the U. S. armed forces. It requires you to have a USAA 529 College Savings Plan account, and there are two paths toward eligibility. Here are the criteria for eligibility under Category A:
- Both the accountholder and the account’s beneficiary must live in Nevada
- The accountholder must be in the military, on active duty, and have an AGI of under $75,000
- The beneficiary must be the accountholder’s child and under 13,
and the criteria for Category B:
- Either the accountholder or the account’s beneficiary may be a Nevada resident and
- Both accountholder and beneficiary must belong to the immediate family of a member of the military, or
- Those who earned the Purple Heart during either Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The lifetime maximum is the same, but all your deposits are matched dollar for dollar.
American Heart Association Western States Affiliate Beginning Grant-in-Aid
The American Heart Association has launched a program called the Western States Affiliate Beginning Grant-in-Aid, which is intended to support the work of new scientists in researching the cardiovascular system. Your focus may extend to a related field like public health, biotechnology, or clinical practice. If you have just graduated with a medical degree, and you want to conduct your research at an accredited nonprofit institution (a hospital or school) in Nevada, this grant will fund your project.
You must hold an assistant professorship, and meet citizenship criteria, which include certain categories of workers who are not U. s. citizens or permanent residents.
Federal Student Grants
Don’t forget the federal grants are also available. Applying for these grants begins with filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and they give preference to students who demonstrate financial need. Here are the current federal grants:
- The Pell Grant, for undergraduates and graduates enrolled in a teacher certification program.
- The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, reserved for students with exceptional financial need (as defined by the government).
- The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, to pay for courses necessary to become a teacher. If you teach for a certain number of years in a subject or school where the government needs teachers, your loan will be forgiven.
- The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, given to those who lost a parent in Iraq or in Afghanistan after 9/11, if you were under 24 or enrolled in college at the time.