June 16, 2024 9:14 pm
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Local News

Nevada Struggles With Low Student Population and Graduation Rates


Anzhe Zhang

Nevada is one of the 15 states with less than 50 colleges or universities, according to a study compiled with data from the Department of Education that measures SAT scores, tuition, and more within states for 2022.

Among Nevada’s 44 schools, 8 are public institutions while 36 are private, placing the state in the bottom 25 percent when it comes to the number of institutions for higher learning within a state.

Though Nevada’s higher education system has positives, such as a high acceptance rate and lower out-of-state tuition compared to neighbors like Arizona, the state is currently witnessing a major pandemic-induced funding cut, despite federal aid, as education advocates face the mounting problems of low graduation rates and budget cuts.

Graduation rate remains a key issue for Nevadans, as the state falls in the bottom 25 percent when it comes to degree completion.

Tuition for Nevada students averaged $18,293 dollars, with state residents paying $14,858 dollars, while the acceptance rate for schools averaged 86.20 percent.

Nevada sits in the middle in the nation when it comes to student population, with a total of 119,062 students. But it ranks significantly lower than other states in the region like Arizona and Utah with 624,268 and 401,550 students, respectively. Among neighboring states, Nevada has the lowest student population, trailing behind Idaho with 124,803 students.

Despite having a low student population, the students-to-faculty ratio in Nevada is high, with an average of 17.07 students to one faculty.

Compared to the national average, Nevada falls in the lower middle when it comes to both the SAT and graduation rate, signifying areas that need improvement. Students in Nevada who enrolled in college scored an average of 1,103 points on the SAT while the state graduation rate was 47.43 percent, higher than its neighbor Arizona at 39.88 percent.

While these two categories show Nevada is above average compared to many states across the nation, it also highlights a major gap between Nevada and other states and territories, like neighboring Utah with an average SAT score of 1,209 points and where the graduation rate is several percentage points higher at 49.5 percent.