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Sisolak requests help for college students affected by shutdown

CARSON CITY — Temporary financial relief may be coming for Nevada college students impacted by the federal government shutdown.

The deadline for students enrolled and planning to attend UNLV or UNR to pay their tuition and fees for the upcoming semester is Friday, and those who miss that deadline would face late charges.

But regents for the Nevada System of Higher Education are set to vote on a measure on Friday that, if passed, would direct the presidents of Nevada’s seven higher-education institutions to either temporarily defer tuition and/or fees for the upcoming spring semester and waive late penalties for those students affected by the government shutdown.

The federal government has been partially shut down since Dec. 22, affecting roughly 800,000 federal employees nationally. In Nevada, that means that approximately 3,000 federal workers’ paychecks are on hold.

On Sunday, Gov. Steve Sisolak sent a letter to NSHE Chancellor Thom Reilly and Regent Chairman Kevin Page asking them to find a solution for students impacted by the shutdown so they can attend classes this spring without being penalized.

“Simply put, this is the right thing to do,” Reilly said in a statement. “The Nevada System of Higher Education is singularly focused on student access and success and removing any barriers for students aiming to graduate from one of our seven degree-granting institutions. Gov. Sisolak certainly understands that and we will take the necessary steps to ensure these students are not prevented or discouraged from enrolling or continuing their studies this semester.”

Page said in a statement that the resolution would be in front of the Board of Regents at their Friday meeting.

“The situation these students and their families have been placed in, by no fault of their own, is very unfortunate. I want to thank Gov. Sisolak for his leadership at this time,” Page said in a statement. “A disruption of the educational process mid-academic year due to this unexpected financial hardship could be detrimental to the success of these students.”

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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