Utah Student Grants for College

Fund Your Utah College Education with Free Grant Money

The state of Utah has created the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (UHEAA) to administer its financial aid programs. Although UHEAA has collected and posted general information on types of financial aid, it does not provide any specifics on available student grants, instead referring readers to financial aid offices at Utah’s individual state colleges and universities.

Utah grants for college

Utah Centennial Opportunity Program for Education

The Utah Centennial Opportunity Program for Education (UCOPE) is Utah’s response to the problem of dwindling financing for federal student aid programs. UCOPE is handed out by participating schools, each of which gets a share of the UCOPE funding, and those include the ten schools of the Utah System of Higher Education plus three private schools (Brigham Young University, Westminster College and LDS Business College).

Utah gives the schools latitude in administering the program, permitting them to decide whether to disburse the money as grants or by way of work-study programs. Thus, the UCOPE award appears in the form of grant money at Weber State University and as a work-study option for graduates of Utah high schools at Brigham Young University (BYU). As an example, here is what Weber’s UCOPE offering looks like:

  • You must be an undergraduate from Utah
  • You must not have earned a bachelors degree or professional degree
  • Award amounts depend on financial need and on how much money Weber received from the state for UCOPE, and
  • Award amounts usually range from $400 to $1,000.

For comparison, the criteria established by Utah law for UCOPE are these:

  • You must qualify as a resident student in Utah or you must be exempt from paying nonresident tuition.
  • You must be enrolled at least half-time in a participating school and in one of the following degree programs: associate, bachelors, or certificate in an specialized occupation.
  • You must make satisfactory progress in school.
  • You must be eligible for federal financial aid and able to show financial need.

Although UCOPE was renamed as the Higher Education Success Stipend Program (HESSP) in 2011, many of the participating schools still refer to that form of aid as UCOPE on their websites.

Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) Program

The Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) Program is a federal grant program, but the funding is sent to each state for disbursement. As with the UCOPE/HESSP program, individual Utah schools use their discretion in making decisions regarding the program, so you must check with your financial aid office to see whether your school hands out LEAP grants. Here are two examples of how the program is administered by different schools:

  • Utah State University – College of Eastern Utah gives the grants only to Utah residents in amounts between $100 and $600 per year, and the program is first-come-first-served.
  • Weber State University awards the grants to undergraduates who are from Utah and have not yet finished their bachelors or professional degree. You must have significant financial need, and you may receive between $400 and $1,000 each year.

University of Utah Grants

College of Fine Arts Grants

The University of Utah’s College of Fine Arts offers two types of grants to its students. The first is a travel grant for graduate students and the second pays for students’ efforts to benefit the school using fine arts. Here are details:

  • The travel grants let students present research at national or international events, and the maximum annual grant is $500. Funding is limited, so apply as early as possible.
  • Fine Arts Fees Grants go to students who have found a way to broaden the educational experience available at either the student or the university level. Supported plans can include hosting fine arts presentations on campus or elsewhere in Salt Lake City. Your project may include students in other colleges as well as Fine Arts students.

Sigma Theta Tau International Gamma Rho Chapter Graduate Student Research Awards

The University of Utah College of Nursing has posted a page of information on the research grants provided by the Sigma Theta Tau Gamma Rho Chapter, including some intended for graduate students who belong to the chapter. Those seeking PhD, DNP, or masters degrees can apply for grants to support their dissertation work or another research project, none of which may also be funded from another source.

Work in progress is acceptable, and you must submit a detailed proposal explaining why your work will make an important contribution.

Department of Linguistics

The Department of Linguistics at the University of Utah offers Professional Development Travel Grants to graduate students who wish to attend conferences or conventions. With your application, you will need to submit a curriculum vitae, verification of U. S. citizenship, letter explaining how attendance will help you, and a budget.


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