Keeping the Door to College Open

As the world economy becomes more advanced and innovative, a college degree has never been more important. Unfortunately, increasing costs have put higher education out of reach for too many Nevadans. Making college more affordable and accessible for Nevada’s students has been and remains one of my top legislative priorities.

I was pleased to help lead passage of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, and the Health Care and Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Combined, these bills have led to a dramatic increase in federal financial assistance for low- and moderate-income students and their families by significantly increasing the maximum Pell Grant, expanding student loan forgiveness opportunities, and implementing and strengthening the Income-Based Repayment Program (IBR). Under IBR, college graduates are able to cap their student loan payments at 15 percent, and have their student loans forgiven after 25 years of making payments. In addition to IBR, in December 2012, the Obama Administration announced that almost two million college graduates across the nation would be eligible to participate in a repayment program that may lower their monthly federal student loan bills. The Pay As You Earn plan allows eligible Nevada college graduates to adjust their payments each year according to income and family size change. For more information on federal student loans and the IBR program, download my “Frequently Asked Questions on Federal Student Loans” brochure.

More recently, the Senate passed the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, which rescinded the doubling of student loan interest rates which took place on July 1, 2013. This market-based approach lowered interest rates for the 2013-14 school year to 3.9 percent for undergraduates, 5.4 percent for graduate students, and 6.4 for PLUS (parent) loans. Additionally, the bill caps undergraduate loans at 8.25 percent, graduate loans at 9.5 percent, and parent loans at 10.5 percent. I voted in favor of this legislation in order to provide immediate relief to student borrowers across the nation. And I look forward to considering a more permanent solution that protects Nevada students from potentially high interest rates in the future.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act also created the American Opportunity Tax Credit, a $2,500 partially-refundable tax credit for tuition, fees, or textbooks to help families with the cost of college. For more information on the American Opportunity Tax Credit, visit

As students begin the process of choosing a college or other postsecondary school option, an area of study, and payment options, they quickly learn that finding the most basic information on these topics can be challenging. I put together this resource guide – The Path to College – to help Nevada students that are interested in pursuing higher education. I have also developed a brochure with more information on federal student loans and the various repayment options.

Learn about Federal Grants, Loans, Scholarships, and the GI Bill

Federal Resources

    • Student Aid:  U.S. Department of Education provides information on applying for Grants, Campus Based Aid and Student Loans. Click here to find out more.
    • FAFSA:  To determine your eligibility for Federal loans to help pay for college, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Click here to get started.
    • Repaying Your Student Loans:  The U.S. Department of Education also provides information on how best to repay your student loans.
    • United States Senate Youth Program:  Has a one-stop-shop website for teachers, principals and high school students to learn how to apply for a prestigious educational program and for the $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship given to each student delegate.
    • GI Bill: Information is available from the Department of Veterans Affairs website and through several fact sheets.

Nevada Resources

    • Millennium Scholarship: Learn how to qualify and how to maintain your scholarship by visiting the Nevada State Treasurer’s website and clicking on the Millennium Scholarship.

Nevada’s Universities and Colleges

Get information on Nevada’s 8 colleges and universities by visiting their web pages:

Finding a Job

Are you looking for a good job but do not want to spend four years or more in college?  These resources can help:

  • Career Colleges and Technical Schools:  Get information on technical schools that teach a specific trade or career. Click here for details.
  • Federal Service:  Information on employment opportunities for students within the federal government, whether in high school, college or graduate school. Click here for details.

Serving Your Country and Community

Learn about opportunities available through the Armed and Volunteer Services:

Veterans Services at Nevada Colleges and Universities

For service members and veterans, it can be difficult to make the transition to a full- or part-time college education. Fortunately, Nevada’s college and universities have set aside resources and personnel to help. Learn about what aid is available by reaching out to your institution’s Office of Veterans Services, or by clicking on the links below:

Get Involved

Find out how to change your community and change the world:

Register to Vote
Find out how to register to vote and become involved in your community by clicking here.*

 *Note: for Nevada residents only

Youth Leadership and Service Organizations

Learn about volunteer opportunities available through one of Nevada’s many non-profit organizations:

Share your views with me

Tell me what you think by sending me an email by clicking here.*

 *Note: I can only respond to Nevadans or those with ties to Nevada.

Services for Young Nevadans

Page Program
If you would like to apply for the Senate Page Program, you may submit your information by filling out the online page application form.

If you would like to be considered for an internship in one of my offices, you may submit your information by visiting the internship section of my website. The internship section of my website also provides information and links to other internship opportunities in Washington D.C.

Academy Nominations
I take great pride in the opportunity to nominate young men and women as candidates to the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and West Point. If you are interested in making a career as an officer in our armed services, click here for more information.

Kids Link

Fun links to learning sites for kids: