RENO — A new report predicts “disastrous” economic consequences unless Nevada invests more in higher education to train skilled workers and attract new businesses and industries.
The report released this month by the Institute for Higher Education Policy said that in 2006, only 28 percent of Nevadans between the ages of 18 and 24 were enrolled in college, compared with 41 percent in top states.
It blamed inadequate academic preparation of elementary and high school students, as well as a lack of financial aid.
Other barriers to college success, according to the report, are rising costs of higher education, a lack of financial aid, and inadequate access to information about college admission procedures for students whose parents didn’t attend college.
Jane Nichols, vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at the Nevada System of Higher Education, called the report a “wake up call.”
“It underscores the tremendous challenges that our colleges and universities face, challenges that must be met with the help of Gov. Jim Gibbons and members of the Nevada Legislature,” Nichols said in a written statement.
Nevada Chancellor Jim Rogers is proposing a 25 percent tuition increase to help offset another round of looming budget cuts in the down economy.
Critics, however, say raising fees will further limit access to higher education for Nevada students.
Regents are scheduled to discuss the tuition and fee proposal during their meeting Dec. 4 and 5.