A Florida-based orthodontic education company that had sponsored orthodontic students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), has asked to withdraw its funding of the program for the fall.

According to Gerry Bomotti, vice president of finance for UNLV, Orthodontic Education Co, which has already given the school $1.75 million to help build a new building, is under contract to pay UNLV $60,000 per student that the company sponsors in the program, $30,000 of which covers tuition. Students sponsored by Orthodontic Education sign contracts to work for the company for 7 years after they graduate.

To cover the $240,000 shortfall created if Orthodontic Education cannot pay the school for the students it sponsors, Bomotti is recommending that the Board of Regents increase tuition for students in the program from $30,000 per year to $45,000 per year. Eight students under contract with Orthodontic Education Co might have to pay the additional $15,000 out of their own pockets.

If UNLV goes through with the $15,000 tuition increase, the program would still be competitive, Bomotti said, with costs well below those of the  orthodontics programs at the University of Southern California, a 3-year program that charges $60,000 per year.

[www.reviewjournal.com, June 17, 2006]