August 22, 2014
In the end it was the rules governing the scholarship not money that divided the lawmakers, helping force a special session. The compromise that emerged from negotiations. Increased grade point average requirements and limited the number of credits covered each session to 12.
That last change is causing students like Chris Vlasek to change their plans. A junior aiming for medical school, Chris says he'll now try to take a heavier load this semester to get as many credits paid for as possible. Then he may be forced to take a lighter load and a longer trip to graduation.
Assemblywoman Debbie Smith was one of the lawmakers in the negotiations earlier this year. She says that 12 credit limit was a good tradeoff that allowed the lawmakers to keep the program open to more students, but she's concerned about two other apparent changes concerning remedial classes. Students are being told, some of them are just learning, that the scholarship can't be used for remedial classes and those classes may no longer count toward the minimum number of credits students must take to remain eligible. That means hundreds of Northern Nevada students enrolled this fall have added expenses and academic challenges they may not have planned on. Smith says the lawmakers didn't plan on them either lawmakers were concerned about sudden impacts on students.