First year of Nevada scholarship shows promise

Christina Martinez-Luna has some advice for Nevada’s current high school seniors: apply early for Promise, the state’s newest scholarship program.

“Apply as soon as possible, because it’s really beneficial,” Martinez-Luna said.

She’s one of 452 College of Southern Nevada freshman who received a scholarship in the first year of the program, which covers student fees at a community college after other aid sources have been exhausted.

Her $1,200 fall semester award filled in the financial gaps that remained, and she’s now pursuing her nursing degree with the ultimate goal of becoming a pediatrician.

“It’s feels relieving that you don’t have to pay that much money,” she said.

While a few hundred more students are seeing the benefits of the program for the first time this fall, the cohort is a tiny fraction of the more than 9,000 high school seniors who applied for the scholarship at CSN. Preliminary numbers show that only $1.8 million of the $3.5 million state allocation has been used.

Higher education officials are reviewing what worked and what may need tweaking as Promise moves into its second year.

Changing the landscape

The program is modeled after Tennessee Promise, the nation’s first statewide “free community college” program.

Promise applicants in Nevada must attend two training sessions, complete the Free Application for Student Aid, meet with a mentor and complete 20 hours of community service in order to remain eligible.

But officials in Nevada and Tennessee say it’s about much more than giving money to students.

“It is about creating a college-going culture and a student success program,” said Maria Marinch, executive director of inclusive learning and engagement at CSN.

James Snider, director of the Tennessee Promise Scholarship, said the program is improving his state.

“So many people look at this only as a financial aid benefit,” Snider said. “But as we educate our youth, we change our workforce. The more educated the workforce, the more employable we are. Every student in a high school in Tennessee has this opportunity if they choose to take it.”

Tennessee’s program is also part of Gov. Bill Haslam’s “Drive to 55” initiative, which is challenging the state equip 55 percent of its residents with a post-secondary credential by 2025. The attainment rate is nearly 41 percent.

Tennessee has also made strides in FAFSA filings, and has led the nation in this venture for the past four years.

Like Nevada, Tennessee recognized early on that getting students to apply for the FAFSA can be a barrier.

“We’ve doubled down the efforts of FAFSA completion,” Snider said, adding that students leave money on the table if they don’t fill it out. “FAFSA completion is an indicator for future matriculation. It’s opening the door to that potential of federal and state financial aid.”

Creating a vision

Even without Promise, many students from low-income backgrounds can attend college at no cost to them through the federal Pell grant. At CSN, 226 students who applied for Promise and completed all of the steps are enrolled in classes, but did not need the scholarship because other financial aid dollars met their need.

“It’s about getting the message across that everyone can take advantage of this,” said Nate Mackinnon, vice chancellor for community colleges at the Nevada System of Higher Education. “The notion that college is too expensive will some day not be an issue for high school seniors.”

Promise scholarship awards ranged from $20 to $1,959 for the fall semester.

Entering year two of the program, community college officials are ramping up the communication with school districts across the state, and created priority deadlines to encourage high school seniors to apply for the FAFSA by the end of the calendar year, and not the April 30, 2019, deadline. Mackinnon said this eases the pressure in the event that a student is selected for verification.

CSN officials have also slightly changed the application process. They’re asking students to share the field of study that they might be interested in at the point of application. Later, they might be paired with a mentor who is also working in that field, Marinch said.

“We help them get the information they need to develop a vision of where they want to be, and how they need to get there,” Marinch said.

Anecdotal student stories also revealed potential issues with the community service requirement, with Margo Martin, interim vice president of transition activities at CSN, reporting transportation challenges, and students who had difficulty balancing work, school and family commitments.

Marinch said they’re talking to partners like local municipalities and the United Way of Southern Nevada to organize community service events and coordinating with the Clark County School District to provide community service opportunities at high schools.

In addition, Mackinnon said he’s spoken with researchers about the potential of conducting a qualitative review to determine why a student might have applied, but didn’t finish all of the steps.

“Overall, we feel really great about this program and the success it’s had in year one,” Mackinnon said. “We didn’t know setting out a year ago when we made the application live if 100, 1,000 or 10,000 students would apply. We now need to translate that into more enrolled students.”

Contact Natalie Bruzda at nbruzda@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3897. Follow @NatalieBruzda on Twitter.

News Videos
CCSD Superintendent address alleged racially motivated threats at Arbor View
CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus F. Jara gives update on alleged racially motivated threats against Arbor View High School, and says such threats will not be tolerated. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Super Bloom Near Lake Elsinore, California
Crowds packed the hills near Lake Elsinore on Saturday to capture a rare selfie amidst the super bloom of poppies turning the landscape purple. The super bloom was caused by the larger rainfall this year. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fiery accident in Las Vegas
A three-car accident on Spring Mountain Road around 6:30 pm on Monday night
A bipartisan coalition holds simultaneous rallies to promote criminal justice
A bipartisan coalition holds simultaneous rallies to promote criminal justice. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Stardust implosion anniversary
Twelve years ago today, the Stardust Resort and Casino was imploded. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Lawsuits filed against security contractors at Nevada National Security Site
Two lawsuits were filed today against the current and former government security contractors for the Nevada National Security Site, one on behalf of Jennifer Glover who alleges sexual discrimination and assault and the other on behalf of Gus Redding who alleges retaliation after he gave statements supporting Glover’s claims. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New housing option helps Las Vegas moms keep kids while kicking drugs
WestCare Nevada Women and Children’s Campus in Las Vegas has added a new transitional housing wing for women who have completed the inpatient treatment at the behavioral health nonprofit to help them as they go through outpatient treatment, shore up their finances and prepare to secure long-term housing. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Teenager in critical condition after being struck by an SUV in Henderson
Authorities were called about 2:45 p.m. to the scene in the 2100 block of Olympic Avenue, near Green Valley Parkway and Sunset Road. The teenager was taken to University Medical Center in critical condition. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Water Question Part 3: Conservation loves a crisis
Future growth in the Las Vegas Valley will rest almost entirely on the community’s ability to conserve its finite share of the Colorado River.
The Water Question Part 7: How much can we grow?
Many experts agree that Southern Nevada can continue to grow, so long as residents are willing to do what needs to be done to stretch our crucial resource as far as it will go.
The Water Question Part 6: How many people can Southern Nevada’s water sustain?
The number can swing wildly depending on a host of variables, including the community’s rates of growth, conservation efforts and the severity of drought on the Colorado River.
Mylar Balloon Demo
NV Energy presented a demonstration Wednesday to depict the damage that can be caused by the release of Mylar balloons.
Educators dressed in red have taken to the streets to demand more for their students.
Educators dressed in red have taken to the streets to demand more for their students. Educators from around the State are bringing the Red for Ed movement to the steps of the Nevada Legislature in Carson City, NV, and to the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Nature Conservancy Ranch
The Nature Conservancy just bought the 900-acre 7J Ranch at the headwaters of the Amargosa River, north of Beatty. The property could become a research station, though ranching will continue.
Swift water rescue at Durango Wash in Las Vegas
On Thursday, February 14, 2019, at approximately 8:42 a.m., the Clark County Fire Department responded to a report of a swift water incident where people were trapped in the Durango wash which is located near 8771 Halcon Ave. Personnel found one person who was trapped in the flood channel. The individual was transported to the hospital in stable condition. Video by Clark County Fire & Rescue.
Flooding at E Cheyenne in N. Las Vegas Blvd.
Quick Weather Around the Strip
Rain hits Las Vegas, but that doesn't stop people from heading out to the Strip. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Aaron Semas, professional bull rider, talks about his traumatic brain injuries
Aaron Semas, professional bull rider, talks about his traumatic brain injuries. The Cleveland Clinic will begin researching the brains of retired bull riders to understand the impact traumatic brain injuries have on cognition. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Matt Stutzman shoots arrows with his feet
Matt Stutzman who was born without arms shoots arrows with his feet and hits the bullseye with remarkable accuracy. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Secretary of Air Force Emphasizes the Importance of Nellis AFB
US Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson visited Nellis Air Force Base during Red Flag training and described how important the base is to the military.
Former Northwest Academy student speaks out
Tanner Reynolds, 13, with his mother Angela McDonald, speaks out on his experience as a former student of Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, which includes abuse by staff member Caleb Michael Hill. Hill, 29, was arrested Jan. 29 by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of child abuse.
Former Northwest Academy students speak out
Tristan Groom, 15, and his brother Jade Gaastra, 23, speak out on their experiences as former students of Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, which includes abuse by staff and excessive medication.
Disruption At Metro PD OIS Presser
A man claiming to be part of the press refused to leave a press conference at Metro police headquarters, Wednesday January 30, 2019. Officers were forced to physically remove the man. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Clients at Las Vegas’ Homeless Courtyard talk about their experience
Clients at Las Vegas’ Homeless Courtyard talk about their experience after the city began operating around the clock. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas parts ways with operator of homeless courtyard
Jocelyn Bluitt-Fisher discusses the transition between operators of the homeless courtyard in Las Vegas, Thursday Jan. 24, 2019.(Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police and Raiders partner with SafeNest
Las Vegas police and the Raiders partner with SafeNest on Project Safe 417 (the police code for domestic violence is 417). The program partners trained SafeNest volunteer advocates with Metropolitan Police Department officers dispatched to domestic violence calls, allowing advocates to provide immediate crisis advocacy to victims at the scene of those calls. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
North Las Vegas police chief discusses officer-involved shooting
North Las Vegas police chief Pamela Ojeda held a press conference Thursday, Jan. 24, regarding an officer-involved shooting that took place on Jan. 21. The incident resulted in the killing of suspect Horacio Ruiz-Rodriguez. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Volunteers gather for annual Clark County homeless count
Volunteers gather for the annual Southern Nevada Homeless Census, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who can understand hospital price lists?
Lists of costs for procedures, drugs and devices are now posted the websites of hospitals to comply with a new federal rule designed to provide additional consumer transparency. Good luck figuring out what they mean.
People in Mesquite deal with a massive power outage
People in Mesquite respond to a major power outage in the area on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Politics Videos
Scholar Max Eden on how restorative justice decreases student achievement - VIDEO
Across the country, restorative justice is lowering test scores and increasing the number of students who feel unsafe at schools. That’s according to Max Eden, a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute, who recently released a study discipline reform.
NV Dems Want To Gut Read By Three - Video
Nevada’s students have a major problem. They aren’t very good at reading. In 2017, just 31 percent of fourth graders were proficient at reading according to the National Assessment of Education Progress. The number proficient falls to 28 percent in eighth grade. Read by Three could change that. If a student can’t read at grade level by the end of third grade, he repeats the grade.
Presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard stumps in Las Vegas
Presidential hopeful U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, holds a meet and greet at the Asian Culture Center in downtown Las Vegas Monday, March 18, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Nye County pushes back against state gun bill
Gun store owner Robby Brentlinger and John Koenig, Chairman of the Nye County Board of Commissioners, discuss their thoughts on gun rights and Nevada Senate Bill 143. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Atkinson pleads guilty
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge Monday.
Atkinson pleads guilty to wire fraud charges
U.S. Attorney’s Office announces plea deal for charges against former Nevada Senate majority leader Kelvin Atkinson during a press conference on Monday, March 11, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson pleads guilty
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson pleaded guilty to a federal wire fraud charge Monday, less than a week after resigning from his post. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Jay Inslee talks climate change in Las Vegas
Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee spoke about climate change at the at the Nevada Conservation League offices in Las Vegas, Saturday, March 9, 2019.
Melania Trump Speaks Out About Opioid Epidemic - VIDEO
Melania Trump speaks at the Westgate hotel about the Opioid epidemic in the United State and how this generation can be the group that ends it.
Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson to resign
Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson is expected to resign Tuesday amid accusations that he misused campaign funds for personal use.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris speaks at North Las Vegas high school
Nevada Legislative Session Preview: Education, Yucca Mountain and Microchips
The Nevada Legislature will be meeting to look at new bills that involve education and marriage age restrictions. Governor Sisolak has also requested to meet with the White House about the plutonium shipments sent to Nevada.
Cortez Masto, Rosen For Infanticide - VIDEO
If an abortionist — armed with scissors, clamps and a vacuum cleaner — can’t kill a baby while she’s still in the womb, he shouldn’t get another chance after she’s born. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen disagree.
Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker campaigns in North Las Vegas
Presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Cory Booker campaigned in North Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon, speaking to an audience of about 250 people that included his mother. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown visits Culinary Union 226
Speaking at a union hall Saturday in Las Vegas, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown promised to be the most pro-union candidate in the race if he decides to run for president. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Abortion Bill Would Decriminalize Causing A Pregnant Woman To Miscarry - VIDEO
If abortion advocates believed their own rhetoric, they’d oppose the Trust Nevada Women Act.
Las Vegas city council candidate Diaz talks about Badlands, public safety and homelessness
The residents of Las Vegas’ Ward 3 aren’t thinking about the development issues surrounding Badlands golf course. They do, however, want more neighborhood police patrols to increase public safety. Other jurisdictions should help the City of Las Vegas with its growing homelessness population. That’s according to former Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz who’s running for the Ward 3 city council seat.
Nevada State Senate Looks At Red Light Cameras - VIDEO
The Nevada State Senate looks at a bill that will add red light cameras to all of the traffic lights in Las Vegas.
Sen. Warren, 2020 presidential candidate, visits Nevada
Sen. Elizabeth Warren spoke to Nevada voters today, elaborating on her campaign platform for the 2020 presidential election. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gov. Sisolak signs SB143 into law
Gov. Steve Sisolak signs SB143 on background checks into law in Nevada.
Gun control lawyer recommends skirting federal law
Faced with a difficult question about the background check bill, a lawyer for Everytown for Gun Safety recommended violating federal law.
Harry Reid talks life, politics
Former Sen. Harry Reid talks about politics, life and the state of the nation.
The first female-majority Legislature in the history of the US opens in Carson City
The 80th session of the Nevada Legislature opened in Carson City Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, making it the first state in the country to have a female majority. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Nevada State Legislature meets for first time In 2019 - VIDEO
Colton Lochhead and Bill Dentzer go over the historic first day of the Nevada State Legislation meeting.
Snow blankets Nevada’s capital
Snow covers the Legislative Building in Carson City on the eve of the 80th Session of the Nevada Legislature. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) KMCannonPhoto
Republicans shouldn't participate In union giveaways
Democrats have full control in Carson City, and they’re eager to reward their union allies with power and costly perks. Gov. Steve Sisolak has already promised to give collective bargaining to state workers. Democrats are also eager to roll back the modest collective bargaining reforms passed in 2015. They pushed through a bill repealing those reforms in 2017, but then-governor Brian Sandoval vetoed it.
White explains why he’s working to recall Seroka
Laborers Local 872 wants to recall Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Seroka over his opposition to development at the Badlands Golf Course. Local 872 secretary-treasurer Tommy White says that effort is doing “fantastic” and hinted they may organize more recalls in the future. White also said that while his union has endorsed Republicans, he doesn’t think it will endorse President Donald Trump.
Sisolak Wants To Undo Sandoval's Education Legacy - VIDEO
Over the next two years, Gov. Steve Sisolak plans to gut and eliminate Brian Sandoval’s major education reforms. It’s all to benefit the government unions who backed his campaign.
Michele Fiore responds about LVCVA international trips
Las Vegas Councilwoman Michele Fiore, who also is a Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board member, responds to the Review-Journal’s findings that she took four international trips in less than a year despite a recent policy aimed at limiting board travel to one annual trip. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Sisolak proposes record spending - VIDEO
Nevada’s growing economy and the largest tax hike in Nevada history, passed just four years ago, have given Sisolak record amounts to spend. And spend he does, seeking to increase the state budget by over 10 percent or around $900 million.
Saunders on the shutdown, SOTU and Democrat presidential candidates - VIDEO
The White House is committed to the shutdown fight, but missing out on delivering the State of the Union would pain President Donald Trump. One of Trump’s 2020 challengers, Sen. Kamala Harris, is a flawed presidential candidate. That’s all according to Debra Saunders, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s White House correspondent.
Mayor Goodman Briefs Media And Files To Run Again (Social)
Las Vegas Mayor Goodman filed for reelection today, following a major health announcement. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Mayor Goodman Announces Cancer Diagnosis (Full briefing)
Las Vegas Mayor Goodman filed for reelection today, following a major health announcement. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen falls at Las Vegas parade
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada fell and injured her wrist at the Martin Luther King Day parade in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor Steve Sisolak Talks Minimum Wage, Teacher Pay and the Cannabis Industry - VIDEO
Newly elected Governor Steve Sisolak talks with Review-Journal reporters about increasing the minimum wage, Nevada's budget for 2019 and increasing teacher's pay.
Nevada Politics Today: Kieckhefer signals that Republicans don’t support Sisolak’s tax hike
Gov. Steve Sisolak shouldn’t count on Senate Republican support for his desired tax hike. Collective bargaining for state workers would drive up costs, and Nevada should expand Opportunity Scholarships. That’s according to Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno.
Harry Reid Brags About Abusing His Power - The Right Take - VIDEO
Harry Reid once risked his life to take on mob bosses. He’s now bragging about having successfully imitated their tactics during his political career.
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada State Supreme Court has first female majority
With the recent election of Justice Elissa Cadish and Justice Abbi Silver, the Nevada State Supreme Court now has a female majority. First oral arguments for the new court were heard Tuesday. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Newly elected trustees join Clark County School Board
District D Trustee Irene Cepeda, District F Trustee Danielle Ford and District G Trustee Linda Cavazos were sworn in at the Edward Greer Education Center on Monday, Jan. 8, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak Speaks at Inauguration - VIDEO
Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks at the 2019 inauguration where he and other politicians were sworn into office on Monday, Jan. 7. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Steve Sisolak Signs Executive Order To Combat Sexual Harassment - VIDEO
Newly inaugurated Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak gets right to work signing a executive order to combat sexual harassment. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Inauguration 2019 - State Capitol Building, Carson City
Nevada Inauguration 2019 - State Capitol Building, Carson City
Democrats Support Border Walls For Themselves (The Right Take) - VIDEO
President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats remain at an impasse over wall funding as the government shutdown reaches the end of its second week. Trump insists on a physical barrier to secure the Southern border. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said a wall would be “ineffective.”
There's a new 'trump bump' at the White House
Journalists often crowd the White House briefing room expecting the latest news, but now the news is that many of the reporters are expecting. Steve Holland: “There’s such a baby boom going on in the White House Press Corps that we are always on standby for delivering a baby if necessary.” CBS’s Weijia Jiang. New York Post’s Marisa Schultz. The Washington Post’s Ashley Parker. Newsday’s Laura Figueroa. They’re just a few of the White House correspondents who are with child or who recently gave birth. Five more members of the White House Press Corps. delivered babies during Trump’s first two years: NPR’s Tamara Keith, CNN’s Pamela Brown, Fox News’ Kristin Fisher, CGTN’s Jessica Stone and NPR’s Ayesha Rascoe. Others are shy of publicity or not yet showing. But what’s behind this different kind of trump bump? For one, the moms-to-be are professional women whose careers are in a secure moment as they feel their biological clocks ticking. Another factor: political timing and family planning. There’s a short window between the 2016 and 2020 election cycles. Then there’s the matter that being a political journalist is stressful, and, well, certain activities can help alleviate that stress. Being pregnant in the White House briefing room definitely doesn’t make the job any easier, though. There are just 49 seats – and it’s not as if competitors are quick to offer up their coveted chairs. At one point, Ronica Cleary tweeted she was “less than enthusiastic about the nature of a room full of people who avoid offering a seat to a woman who is 371/2 weeks pregnant.” Even the press offices behind the press room are cramped. With the baby boom, the Christian Broadcasting Network’s small office now doubles as a breast bumping room. One journalist made headlines when she announced her pregnancy with an apparent jab at the president. Weijia Jiang’s baby bump was showing at a September press conference. When President Trump told her to “sit down,” she tweeted she couldn’t wait to teach her child that “when a man orders you to sit down because he doesn’t like what you’re saying, do anything but.”
Red Rock Canyon closed but accessible during partial government shutdown
The famed scenic loop of Red Rock National Conservation Area, which attracts tourists and climbers alike, was closed but accessible on Dec. 22, 2018, during a partial government shutdown forced by President Donald Trump. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
Home Front Page Footer Listing