New Nevada Higher Education Funding Formula: Making International Students More of a Priority

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There are two aspects of the new Nevada higher education funding formula that will contribute towards a stronger demand for international students.  The first involves how Nevada college and university revenue will be calculated.  The traditional formula was based on student enrollment (colleges received funding based on the number of students who enrolled in courses).  The new funding formula is based on student completion rates (colleges receive funding based on the number of students who pass their courses). This change means that colleges and universities only get paid if the students are successful and pass a class.

(old) Enrollment rates    —>    (new) weighted student course    +   completion rates  =  Pay for performance model

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This is a good change if Nevada’s colleges have high performing students who pass all their classes.  Unfortunately, research demonstrates that this is not always the case.  Out of seven public colleges and universities and a handful of private colleges in the state, in-state (resident) students only demonstrate approximately 50% graduation rates within 6 years; whereas, non-resident aliens (out-of-state/international) students demonstrate approximately 70% graduation rates.  This means that the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) will collect approximately 20% more revenue from international and out-of-state students.

The second aspect of the new NV higher education funding formula that contributes towards a stronger demand for international students includes how student tuition/fees are kept on campus.  You see, in-state (resident) students pay approximately $6,500 per year whereas; non-resident aliens (out-of-state/international) students pay approximately $20,000 per year.  Nevada higher education institutions will be able to keep more of their out-of-state student tuition/fees compared to the in-state student tuition/fees based on this new formula.

Remember, higher education is a business.  If international students bring in more out-of-state tuition/revenue and are more likely to pass their courses (hence, more money), colleges and universities will undoubtedly favor and invest in international student recruitment, retention, and graduation.  This is a significant change for Nevada since for many years institutions have under-appreciated the vast diversity and globalization benefits that international students contribute to campuses and communities.  Hopefully, the unintended consequences of this new funding formula will ultimately stimulate greater research, cross-cultural support services, and international partnerships in Nevada.



Filed under Higher Education, International Education

23 responses to “New Nevada Higher Education Funding Formula: Making International Students More of a Priority

  1. Garrett Main

    One of the other unintended consequences could be with the lower acceptance rates of in-state residents. With the college showing more acceptance of the out of state/international students, in state residents will be less eager to apply, knowing that they prefer out of state/international students. This will cause the university to lose its local feel and thus put on bad airs towards in state students.

  2. Pamela Grupe

    Even though it would be great for the college to receive attention form out of state students, and it would bring in culture diversity that would be welcomed in Reno, Nevada, I do see some problems. The unintended consequences as a result of international students and out of state students bringing in more money than our in-state students, therefore more focus will be on those students of out of state and international students instead of our students of Nevada. Another consequence; our of Nevada’s states performance rate; students passing a class or completing a class is 20% higher for an international or out of state student.Out of state students have to pay a lot more for their education in Nevada;the cost difference between the two is over 14,000. The application of performance out -comes would be hard to keep it fare; are we teaching for the test and therefore the students suffer? Or is the goal to make sure students are getting what they payed for ;an appropriate education to get a good job upon graduation? Hopefully our executive educators will be able to evaluate teachers in an open mined fashion. Sometimes it not about how much money the college is bringing in at the NOW; but also look at quality education that will also generate money for the college and the community after the students graduate and land the jobs; not just because you bring in more money because you come from another county or out -of -state.
    As the Washoe county superintendent discussed, teachers in the county that had students have low test scores, that teacher, will receive a bad performance evaluation if the low scores continued..

  3. Morgan Acuncius

    One of the intended consequences of having this new funding formula is that students are being passed along and are graduating without the proper preparations. The professors are pressured to having more students pass their classes. The professor may give a student a passing grade even though that student did not earn it. After graduation, these students will not be ready to enter the workforce.
    For example: say that a student is majoring in elementary education and could not pass any math class, but was given a passing grade because of the new funding formula. Elementary teachers are required to be able to teach all subjects, including math. If this teacher cannot understand math, there is no way that he/she will be able to teach it to the class. This will cause problems for that teacher’s students. These students will be behind in math and have issues later in their educational careers.

  4. Angela Mills

    The new funding formula could result in higher expectations from universities for admission. If universities are only getting funding for students who do well in their classes, they’re going to be reluctant to admit students who are anywhere below perfect. When funding for the school is is directly related to student performance, the university will only want to admit students who have an excellent academic history.

  5. Rose Steffen

    Other consequences could include a higher drop out and/or failure of in-state students. If international students become the target audience then it could leave other students in the dust. However, having this new rule could also push students to want to take college more seriously and attempt to at least pass their classes. If the college they are attending doesn’t have money to support it’s students, it’s not likely to continue functioning. I honestly thing having this as a rule is good. It will hurt a few schools, yes, but in the long run it will push everyone to be better. If 50% of students are failing then, most likely, it has to do with how the students are being taught, or if they are even being taught at all. Schools should earn the money as any other “business” would and having students pass classes is a decent way of showing it. It obviously creates more pressure on the staff, but I believe if the educator does their job well and keeps the class engaging and relevant then they should be fine. There will always be slackers who don’t pass anything, colleges deal with them their own way. I assume that the administrators would try to encourage better teaching strategies and such. They could do assessments of sorts to see how the teacher is doing in a specific class.Obviously if the teacher is not teaching his/her subject, they should be removed and replaced with someone who is willing to teach the subject. I understand there are a lot of legal restrictions and consequences, this is all very general. Tenured teachers are obviously harder to fire. Maybe a system such as the new one for K-12 where they lose their tenure if they receive a certain amount of bad marks and can be fired? Obviously if all the students are failing, the teacher is doing something wrong and shouldn’t be allowed to teach when all they students will just fail. Student achievement is highly regarded in many states as K-12 teacher assessment criteria.

  6. Toni Klong

    With the new formula and an increased pressure from university administration to have faculty pass more of their students, students will be receiving passing grades when they should actually be failing. Public education, K-12, is controlled by student performance in required testing. These test scores are what determines the job security of the teachers and funding for the school. However, with higher education, testing like this does not exist, so the only way to control the funding is by other means. In the past, the formula was based on students enrolling in classes, but with the new formula, it is the passing rate. Universities will want to keep the funding that they are receiving, so there will be a huge pressure on professors to pass their students. Passing students that risk the university’s funding will only solve that issue, the funding, but will not help students with being “punished” for not completing assignments, tests, or final exams. In my opinion, professors will be more lenient with students’ grades which does not help anyone but the university. It’s definitely a bad change.

  7. Bryan Sanchez

    It seems like this could be a problem on many different levels. This new funding formula is similar to the public school evaluations, where teachers are evaluated on student preformance. In highter education, there is even less control over student success. For example, there is no attendance requirements, so professors will have a hard time influencing the success of students if they are reluctant to even being at class. I do think that incorporating and promoting globalization in higher education is a good thing; however, this new funding formula should not influence universities to put in-state students on the back-burner. There should still be focus on local students as well as international. Overall, this funding formual would be a drastic change to university operations (including professor evaluations). I’m not sure if this will be welcomed by the majority due to its drastic changes to policy.

  8. Samantha Gutierrez

    At a glance the new funding formula seems like the perfect solution for the problem of ineffective professors. However, the formula has many unintended consequences. Since the emphasis is being placed on grades the amount of information that a student learns is no longer a priority. In essence students will be able to pass classes more easily without having learned valuable amount of information. The new formula will influence professors to change their teaching methods. This could result in better teaching or it could result in professors reducing the rigor of a class to assure students will pass in order to get paid. Furthermore, the new formula opens the door to unethical teaching behaviors from professors. Unlike educators at the secondary or elementary level professors are required to conduct research in addition their teaching. Research demands a significant amount of a professor’s time. This added pressure of the new funding formula may ultimately result in professors decreasing the intensity of a class. The United States has some of the most rigorous universities in the world and this formula could potentially change this. It is quite clear that the education system is transforming to a system focused nearly entirely on testing scores. If this ideology seeps into our universities education would radically change, not necessarily for the better.

  9. Brittany Brisson

    An unintended consequence could be that the schools are simply expecting more out of state students than they will actually receive. In this day and age, many people don’t even look into out of state schools because it is so much more expensive than instate schools. Also, did they keep the WUE program in mind? Lots of people pay in state tuition through the WUE program, meaning they are paying in state tuition even if they live out of state. This is bound to somehow affect this new formula.

  10. Jay-Oh

    I think that NSHE is expecting to get more money out of their out-of-state/international students than they probably really will end up receiving. Having said that, I think this will lead NSHE to focus more on non-nevadans and will lose more money in the end and because NSHE is expecting such an amount of money from out-of-state/international students, I feel that this is the only method they have to bring in more money, so if this does not go according to plan, what happens next?

  11. This new formula could bring new diversity into the university, which would create a different cultural atmosphere and that would be great. There would also be unintended consequences of this new formula; it could encourage students that may not have done very well in high school to not attend a university, even though they may want to have higher success in college. Nevada could use more diversity in the university, but it also needs to focus on the local students who may want to attend without having these students feel discouraged.

  12. This formula could bring more diversity to the university, which would be great for the cultural atmosphere of the community. An unintended consequence of this formula could discourage local students who may have not done very well to want to attend the university. If a student wants to try to better in college this formula could completely discourage them from attending university. It is important for the university to encourage new diversity, but it is also important to encourage local students to attend the university and succeed.

  13. Benjamin Sims

    One possible unintended consequence of thye new funding formula would be an increase in the rigor of acceptance into each college or university, likely raising the bar on the necessary academic success of each applicant. This type of development would be likely to cause college-bound students in k-12 and college students as well to participate in less extra-curricular activities throughout the school year, and would thus lessen the cultural identity of the student population.

  14. Gladys R.

    It may possibly be that colleges and universities are expecting a little too much from the out-of-state and international students when it comes to paying for tuition and stuff. If colleges and universities only get paid if the students are successful and pass a class then their might be a possibility that professors may not be putting that much effort in teaching when they could just give students passing grades in order for them to pass the class. This may be an intended problem of having this new formula, and also if student tuition increases than colleges and universities are likely to lose out-of-state and international students which can also affect the new formula of not having enough students enroll in classes period.

  15. Rebecca Lopez

    Although being able to collect and secure funds from out of state and international students I feel that this wide range between what in state students pay verses what out of state students pay will lead to a decrease in out of state students. The out of state tuition of $20,000 a year is more then three times what the in state students pay. What is the incentive for out of state students to come to Nevada and spend their money to attend our University? Nevada collecting the revenue from these international students is a benefit for our state and college but what benefits are we providing these international students with to make them want to come to Nevada?

  16. Nathan Rough

    Promoting out of state students is a good thing. It promotes student diversity in a campus among other things. However, seeing as how it seems that there is more of an emphasis on recruiting out of state students, this leaves little room for in state students, since Nevada schools can make more money and have higher sucess rates with out of state students. Promoting out of state recruiting for students is always a good thing, but must hold complete authority over accepting students locally as well.

  17. Karlee Day

    I think that if the school got paid for how their students performed then the universities will be letting in a lot more international students. They would also have to start worrying about the professors performances because they might just start making class easier than it should be. The kids might all be graduating on time but will they really have deserved it. Then again, they wont be the ones to blame for not trying.

  18. Mackenzie

    What happens when we apply money (student fees) to performance outcomes (student course completion rates)?
    If money is tied to performance outcomes it will most definitely change the framework by which colleges are ran. A the article states “in-state (resident) students only demonstrate approximately 50% graduation rates within 6 years; whereas, non-resident aliens (out-of-state/international) students demonstrate approximately 70% graduation rates.” This simply shows that in-state students cost the university MORE money to educate than international or out-of-state students. If instate students are paying far less money to go to the university and are staying there for longer periods of time, the university is not really gaining anything off of them, instead they may be losing profit. But if the university can bring in high achieving international and out-of-state students that pay almost 3 times that of what an in-state kid does, then there will be far more of a press on colleges to accept nonresidential students. If colleges are to be paid based on student achievement, they will be far more likely to admit those students who are destined to achieve at the college level. If that means denying in-state students, then that may be what it comes down to.
    What could result from an increased pressure from university administration to have faculty pass more of their students?
    If the university decides that they are going to have achievement based pay then there will most definitely be pressure that’s put on the administration. It is very possible that if the administration feels as though they could lose funding, they may feel the desire to pass students who do not deserve to be passed. As the article says, higher education is a business and if they feel that at any moment that they could lose money because of their students there will be no hesitation to either drop the student completely, or let them slide with an ill-deserved passing grade.
    There are both good and bad to this proposed formula. For one it could light a fire under some hineys and motivate teachers to help students achieve. But there is also a reverse of that and it could help enable those teachers who just want to pass students and get the money for the school. If this idea goes through, the teachers that do believe in challenging their students may catch some grief about making their classes to hard and losing money for the university.

  19. Kara Schrock

    When you apply money to student performance outcomes, you increase the chances of the students and the administration cheating the sytems, and lowering the expectations for the education system, to heighten their chances to recieve the money towards their school. This increase in pressure from the university administration could influence teachers to lower not only their classroom expectation, but their cirriculum, reducing the academic stability of the class in order to recieve the money from the institution. This could be bad in a few different instances because, the bill is increasing the pressure on the teachers, which increases the pressure on the students, and the only way that both the teachers and students will benefit from the increase in pressure, is to reduce the expectations of the classroom, making it easier for the students to pass.

  20. Jannet Roman

    The new formula that allows pay to be based on completion rates isn’t the most ideal way to go, but the emphasis that will be put on recruiting international students is not a bad thing. I work at the Office of International Students and Scholars on campus, and I often see how badly some international students want to study in the US, or more specifically UNR, and their drive in part accounts for their higher completion rates opposed to in-state students. Why not invest in students who are driven? Not only will international students bring more money to the university, it will also integrate a diverse environment. Some people may argue that as resources for international students increase resources for in-state students will decrease, but I disagree. In-state students already pay much less for tuition and there are readily accessible resources available for them, like local or US only scholarships and the like. I feel that there could be more programs in place for easier foreign to US transitions, because although this formula is in place I do not see as much helpful international programs and outreach as there could be.

  21. Marissa Spurlock

    This new formula could possibly make it so the requirements to get in are higher making it harder for people to get in to universities. When a junior or senior in high school sees that the expectations to get in are raised they might loose interest and give up.If this was to happen then the nation would have less and less college graduates making it so there were more empty jobs that people could not have because they were not properly educated. This could also be a problem because what if they amount of out of state students lowers, where will the universities get the money to fund the school. With this new formula there are a lot of pros that could come out of it, but also some big cons.

  22. Andrew Peckham IV

    The new formula would cause a problem in the Universities. It will cause the professors to create large curve in their class in order for all of the students to pass the class, which will gain more money for the University. This will cause a problem for students since they will not learn the material for the class. They would learn a minimal amount for the class and then with a high curve they would get a good grade. It would overall be a bad thing to change it too due to professors changing their ways just to make money

  23. alita requena

    I believe the new formula can be beneficial if implemented correctly. i believe it will force in-state students to get higher grades and also help the university and our research program if we have increased funds from international students; sand lastly bring more diversity to the University.

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