College Funding in Utah
Stand Out Among the Crowd and Win Some Cash
Every state offers some level of financial support for its resident college-bound students, and Utah is no exception. The state of Utah, and the Utah Board of Regents, understands that the success of any state lies in the educational opportunities available to its residents. To this end, the state government of Utah offers resident students financial advice and assistance via the Utah System of Higher Education.
In addition to much needed financial aid, the Utah System of Higher Education’s dedicated website provides valuable information on state colleges and universities, college savings plans, application procedures, and test preparedness. Residents of the Beehive State will find that their state government is dedicated to rewarding the hard work, and the academic achievements, of its college-bound students.
General Scholarships from the State of Utah
The state of Utah offers two scholarships for graduating high school seniors who have achieved high academic standards in their secondary education. These scholarships are strictly merit-based, and awards are determined by the applicants high school transcripts.
The following two scholarships are currently being offered by the state of Utah.
- The Utah New Century Scholarship Program is available to high performing high school students who are simultaneously enrolled in an associates degree program at a state college or university. Students must complete their associates degree with a 3.0 GPA or better by the time they graduate from high school. Scholarship recipients may use the award to help pay for Baccalaureate studies at a participating state college or university. The award is $1250 per semester, and is renewable.
- The Utah Regents Scholarship is designed to encourage high school students to prepare for college by taking a core course of studies, and by saving for college. The scholarship is a tiered award system that includes a Base Award, an Exemplary Academic Achievement Award, and the Utah Educational Savings Plan Supplemental Award. Students may be eligible to win one, or any combination, of the three awards. To be eligible, students must be enrolled full-time at a participating state college or university, and must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. Award amounts range from $400 to $1000.
- The Terrell H. Bell Teaching Incentive Loan Program is, in essence, an award-for-service program. A state-funded loan is available to high school seniors who have completed the requirements for an Early Graduation Program, and who have declared education as their major. Following graduation students must agree to a predetermined term of service teaching at one of Utah’s public or private schools. Each semester of teaching will be considered as repayment for each semester of received financial aid. Graduating students are allowed a 2 year grace period in which to find employment. If, after 2 years they have not taken a teaching position, the award will be enforced as a standard student loan.
The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
In addition to the programs offered through the Utah System of Higher Education, resident students of the Beehive State can take advantage of initiatives supported by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. The WICHE is a regional organization that was created in the 1950′s by the Western Regional Education Compact. The purpose of the WICHE is to facilitate the sharing of resources amongst the western states, and to make higher education more accessible to residents of participating states.
Many of the programs supported by the WICHE address critical areas of professional need, including education and healthcare. The WICHE makes it possible for students from Utah to pursue their education in a neighboring state, while retaining the tuition reductions and tax advantages typically reserved for a state’s own resident students. While no scholarships or grants are offered directly by the WICHE, the program’s initiatives do allow Utah’s college-bound students to save money on the cost of attending college or university in a participating state. The WICHE initiatives open up tuition discounts, financial aid programs, and tax advantages that are typically reserved for residents of the host state.
Preparing for college takes serious financial planning. Through Federal grants and loans, and state supported scholarships and loan-forgiveness programs, Utah’s resident students can build a financial plan that will help them realize their college goals. College-bound students in the state of Utah will want to visit the Utah System for Higher Education’s dedicated website for further information designed to help them plan for their post-secondary education. There, students and their families will find valuable information on tuition costs, college savings plans, and how to prepare for a transition from high school to college.