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It seems like every year, tuition hikes at public and private universities hit students and their families.
Student debt increases, and people wonder: Is going to college worth it? Of course, not everyone should go or needs to go, but if you're looking to get into the new industries that have been created in the past ten years, getting a degree is almost a necessity. According to a study conducted by Georgetown University, more than 99 percent of the new jobs created since the Great Recession have gone to people with at least some college education.
Whether you're in-state or out-of-state, looking for public or private options, Nevada has some excellent options to consider in your college search. We've also ranked the Best Online Colleges in Nevada if that's what you're looking for. And if you're hoping to pay in-state levels at a public university but you're not from Nevada, you may be in luck. The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) provides discounted tuition for qualifying students from a whole host of states, not just Nevada.
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What are the best colleges in Nevada?
So if you are interested in a Nevada college or university, you've come to the right place. After sorting through piles of data on institutional success, tuition return on investment, and student satisfaction, we've sorted Nevada's colleges into a ranking of the four best. Our data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics' IPEDS database, Payscale, U.S. News & World Report, individual college websites, and websites students use to rate their college experience.
See our rankings methodology page.
University of Nevada, RenoLocation
The University of Nevada, Reno was founded in 1874 in Elko, Nevada, as a preparatory school. However, it was located 300 miles from nearly half of the state population. To reconnect with the Nevada community, they moved to Reno, Nevada. Today, the campus is just a short drive to Lake Tahoe, Black Rock Desert, and Yosemite. The University of Nevada, Reno is considered a national Tier 1 university. Nevada students can save up to $63,000 (72% less) than their counterparts attending other tier 1 universities.
The University of Nevada, Reno offers 426 degree, certificate and minor programs for over 17,000 undergraduate students. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 22-to-1 with 34% of the classes having less than 20 students. Outside the classroom, student can access over 200 student organizations including Greek life. The University of Nevada, Reno participates in NCAA Division I sports teams. Top majors include:Business Health Professions Biological Biomedical Sciences Social Sciences Engineering
A nearly 8-foot statue of John Mackay was carved by Gutzon Borglum, the man who carved Mount Rushmore, John Mackay was an Irish immigrant and benefactor whose heirs donated over $1.5 million to the university from 1907 to 1936. These monies enabled the university to expand their mining school, install a football field, and increase the campus property to benefit the students and the student experience.
University of Nevada, Las VegasLocation
Las Vegas, NVTuition
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) was founded in 1957 in Las Vegas, Nevada, as an extension program by the University of Nevada, Reno. Today, UNLV is known as a fast-growing research institution on over 332 acres 1.6 miles from the Las Vegas Strip.
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas offers 350 majors for 24,702 undergraduate students 93% live off campus. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 22-to-1. Nearly 26% of the classes have less than 20 students. Outside the classroom, student can access over 300 student organizations including Greek Chapters. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas participates in NCAA Division I sports teams. Top majors include:Business Psychology Social Sciences Biological Biomedical Sciences Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting Related Protective Services
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is the 2nd most diverse undergraduate university according to U.S. News World Report. UNLV is also the first four-year institution in Nevada to have a Hispanic enrollment over 25 percent of the student population.
Sierra Nevada CollegeLocation
Incline Village, NVTuition
Sierra Nevada College was founded in 1969 in Incline Village, Nevada. It is in an alpine mountain community located on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. The campus is located within 45 miles of 17 top ski and golf resorts and 35 miles from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. So, you can expect this campus to be very involved in outdoor sports, hospitality industry and adventurers.
Sierra Nevada College offers 30 majors for over 500 undergraduate students. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 11-to-1. Nearly 84% of the classes have less than 20 students. Outside the classroom, student can access over 15 student organizations. Sierra Nevada College competes in NAIA sports. The school is well known for their snow-based sports teams and has won over 25 championships. Top majors include:Business Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies Visual Performing Arts Biological Biomedical Sciences Psychology
Incline Village is listed as one of the top Ski Destinations by Rand McNally. Sierra Nevada College has a premier ski business and resort management degree program. Students are encouraged to explore the local outdoors, network with local businesses or relax by the fireplace as they study. There is something here for everyone.
Nevada State CollegeLocation
Nevada State College was founded in 2002 in Henderson, Nevada. Today, Nevada State College is the first-state sponsored college of the Nevada system of higher education. The 510-acre campus does not have any residences. Students will need to commute to campus that is located 15 miles from the Las Vegas Strip.
Nevada State College offers 45 majors for over 3,000 undergraduate students. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 15-to-1. The average class size ranges from 15 to 20 students. The college maintains that the largest class you will have will be less than 40 students. Outside the classroom, student can access over 30 student organizations. Nevada State College does not participate in intercollegiate sports. However, students can join an intramural team. Top majors include:Nursing Business Administration Biology Psychology Education
Over half of the students attending Nevada State College come from diverse cultural backgrounds. The college is a national Minority Serving Institution as well as an Emerging Hispanic Serving Institution. The curriculum and degrees are developed based on the needs of Nevada Communities, business and industry and student demands.
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