Millennium Scholarship for More Students and More Credits

46By Soni Brown

Recent changes were made during the 2015 State legislative session that makes the Millennium Scholarship available to more students.

Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship rewards Nevada high-school graduates $10,000 over the course of six years to attend college in the State.

“College of Southern Nevada has offered $2,342,520 in Millennium Scholarship funds to 2,281 students for the fall 2015 and anticipated spring 2016 semesters,” said Katheryn Brekken, public affairs executive director at CSN.

There were two recent changes made to broaden the scholarships’ recipient base and the amount of credits students can take per term.

Previously high-school students needed a GPA of 3.25 during senior year in order to qualify to receive the Millennium Scholarship.

Assembly Bill 150 extends eligibility to students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement but attain a particular score on standardized tests. If students receive an enhanced ACT composite score of 21 or higher or a SAT score of 990 or higher, they can get the scholarship. These scores are slightly above the 50 percentile; as a result more students have received the scholarship.

According to Assemblyman Lynn D. Stewart, who co-sponsored the amendments to Millennium Scholarship program, the changes provide an opportunity for students to go to college. He realizes some students have tough times in high school and may lack in performance resulting in lower GPAs. With the new change, those students can get the scholarship if they perform high enough on the test.

“I was a high-school teacher for 34 years and I taught seniors most of that time,” Stewart said. “I know that there are slackers who don’t wake up to ‘I’ve got to get going’ until maybe their junior year. I hope kids that have a real need but didn’t have the grade point average will get the scholarship.”

Additionally, Senate Bill 128 increased the number of credits the scholarship will pay for each semester. Previously students had to enroll in at least six credits and not exceed 15 credits per term. Now students at CSN must enroll for at least nine credits and up to 15 credits per term, according to the Board of Regents’ briefing paper dated June 11 and 12, 2015.

The increase in credit loads is aligned with the Nevada State Higher Education’s student-completion agenda, according to Brekken. CSN’s goal is to help students graduate on time in two years.

Morgan Gorst, a CSN sophomore who received the Millennium Scholarship, is very happy to be a recipient. “To me it means that the State of Nevada is recognizing my hard work. [The scholarship] helps me pay for a lot of my tuition costs and it helps me make ends meet.”

“I just hope that it helps some kids who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to go to college or university … turn their lives around,” Stewart said.

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