Students on the campus of University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Thursday June 5. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
Higher education in Nevada could soon be less affordable, and college students say they're already struggling as it is.
The Nevada System of Higher Education's Board of Regents is mulling a tuition hike of 4 percent in each of the next four years.
On Friday the tuition hike will be voted on, which could potentially affect seven schools statewide. If passed, four years from now students would be paying about $1,000 more per year than current students.
"They promised us they wouldn't raise this three or four years ago when they voted, but now they're doing it again," said recent University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduate Adrian Karimi.
Karimi has returned to UNLV to study for the bar exam and is considering an advanced degree. However, the thought of higher tuition has him considering obtaining that degree in another state.
"Why would people want to stay here when they can go to Arizona, California, Utah – [somewhere] that's comparable, maybe even better, and the same price?" Karimi asked.
Daniel Waqar, a member of UNLV's undergraduate student government, flew to Reno on Thursday with fellow student government members to address the board ahead of its vote.
"At the end of the day, it's our education. We pay the price for it. We are the ones who benefit from it or don't benefit from it. We have to take responsibility for our education," Waqar said.
Currently, UNLV undergraduates pay about $574 per three-credit class. If the hike passes, that same class will cost $598 next year, and $672 in 2018.
"This will be several hundred dollars out of my pocket each semester, not including extra costs for books, extra transportation, costs for delaying classes, extra student loan fees as well," Waqar said.
The Board of Regents maintains that even with increases, higher education in Nevada will be comparable to what students pay in other Western states.
"Why would you dissuade people from staying in Vegas?" Karimi said.
Waqar said the number of Nevadans with bachelor's degrees is below average and the rate could drop further with higher tuition. He also said that because the spring semester has concluded, many students aren't even aware of Friday's vote. He's hoping that at the very least it can be postponed until fall.
The Board of Regents also has the option of approving a different tuition increase, in which case they would make a final decision on June 30.
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