by JERI CHADWELL
In a press statement released on Monday, The Nevada State Treasurer’s Office announced that $15 million allocated to the Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship program during the 2013 Legislative Session will allow the program continue through at least the 2017-2018 school year.
The Millennium Scholarship program was established in 1999 by then Gov. Kenny Guinn and the Nevada Legislature using funds from the tobacco master settlement agreement. According to Monday’s press release, the program currently provides approximately $25 million in annual scholarship support for Nevada high school graduates, and over 29,000 millennium scholars have received degrees from Nevada schools since the program was established.
$8 million of the total $15 million added to the program this year came from the tobacco master settlement. Another $5 million was included in Gov. Sandoval’s budget. The final $2 million was added to the fund after a measure that would have allocated that amount to the Teach For America group failed to gain enough support to pass in the Assembly.
Data from a 2012 Nevada System of Higher Education report made to the Legislative Committee on Education suggests that while the number of students who are eligible to receive Millennium Scholarship funds has increased, the number of first-time students applying for those funds has fallen over time. According to the report, nearly 77 percent of students who were eligible for the scholarship in 2000 activated their awards. In 2010, that number had dropped to 58.7 percent.
Nevada high school graduates who are eligible for the Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship will receive their award packets in the mail by the end of next month. More information regarding the eligibility requirements is available on the Nevada State Treasurer’s website.