While it is not the most expensive state to attend college, ranking 7th in terms of affordability at $20,413 per year, going to a university in Utah can still set you back. Fortunately, there are plenty of financing options for prospective students’ disposal.
Now, taking out a student loan might be the most apparent option. In reality, though, it should only be your last option. You should first look into financial aid given by the state of Utah in the form of scholarships and grants. Such aid programs are great because you don’t need to pay them back, significantly lowering the cost of a college education for you.
And you might be more qualified for a scholarship or grant than you think. To help you out, as part of our state by state guide to financial aid, we’ve outlined some of the awards and grants you can check out as a prospective student in Utah. We then look at some student loans in Utah if those are your only choices.
What Scholarship Programs Does Utah Have?
Utah has several scholarship programs available to anyone who wants to attend college in the state. They vary by the total value of the program, as well as the requirements to qualify.
It’s a good idea to look around for your options and see which ones you have the highest chance of succeeding in.
Below are four of the more prominent Utah scholarship programs. You can also use services such as the non-profit company Collegeboard, Niche.com’s Find Scholarship Feature, or Fastweb. These websites can help match you with a scholarship or grant faster than manually searching for one on Google.
The President’s Scholarship is the scholarship program of the University of Utah.
The program awards aid with a total value of $35,000. It covers tuition fees, mandatory fees, and a fund award toward on-campus housing. The housing fund is convertible to a cash award instead. Once awarded, the scholarship will cover eight semesters or until the student graduates with a degree, whichever comes first.
To continue to become eligible for the program, students will need to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.6 and 24 hours of course work every two semesters. Students will also need to have a minimum of 12 hours per semester to qualify for the program.
The selection for the President’s Scholarship program is based purely on merit. Cumulative GPA, ACT/SAT scores, and the rigors of the selected course are all part of the criteria. Both residents and non-residents of the state can apply for the program.
The Utah Flagship Scholarship awards up to $5,000 every school year to go toward that year’s tuition. Students must be able to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.6 and accomplish 24 hours of course work annually to renew the scholarship.
The program is open to all incoming first-year college students from accredited high schools in Utah. The selection is based on merit. It takes the cumulative GPA (which accounts for 66%) and ACT/SAT scores (which accounts for 33%) into account.
Because of the limited allocation of money each year, the program is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to qualified students.
The Utah Academic Scholarship is similar to the Flagship Scholarship program. The awarded value, in this case, is $2,500. It goes towards helping pay off the tuition fee every school year, for a total of eight semesters.
The program is eligible for all Utah senior high school students from both public or private schools. The student’s cumulative GPA (2/3 weight) and ACT/SAT scores (1/3 weight) are taken into account when deciding whether to award a student or not.
The scholarship goes only to the top applicants who have passed their requirements on time.
The Utah Academic Recognition Award gives $1,500 every school year to qualified students for a maximum of four semesters. It’s renewable each year for its entire duration. To qualify, students need to maintain a 3.2 cumulative GPA and complete 24 credit hours every year.
All senior high school students from any Utah school, public or private, may apply. Acceptance into the program depends on merit. Both the cumulative GPA (which carries a 2/3 weight) and the ACT/SAT scores (which carry a 1/3 weight) are criteria for selection.
What Grant Programs Does Utah Have?
In addition to scholarship programs, the state of Utah also awards grants to qualified residents. Unlike scholarships that depend on merit, grants are awarded primarily based on financial need.
To begin applying for grants, you need to accomplish your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) first. Click here to learn more about the application process.
Here are some of the Utah grant programs you can consider
The Utah Education Fund (UEF) Grant awards aid that goes toward paying an individual’s tuition needs. The value varies year by year but is usually up to $500. The UEF Grant is financial aid that students don’t need to repay as long as the person maintains eligibility.
To qualify, an applicant must show exceptional financial need and have an educational disadvantage. You also need to be enrolled in at least 6 hours of course work.
The Higher Education Success Stipend Program (HESSP) is a federal aid program meant to solve the lack of grants available to Utah residents. It goes to ten Utah System of Higher Education schools, plus three private universities.
Each school has its policies and details regarding the details of the HESSP. The amount range is usually $500 on average but can go up to $1,000.
Here are the basics on how to qualify for the HESSP
- You must be a Utah resident OR be exempt from paying non-resident tuition fees
- You must show exceptional financial need
- You have to enroll in any of the HESSP participating schools
- You must be enrolled in either a certificate, bachelor’s or associate degree in said schools
Every school will have their requirements on top of the ones listed above. We recommend checking with each of your prospective schools to see if you qualify.
The TEACH Grant is a financial aid program that’s available for all undergraduate and graduate students of Utah universities. It excludes students enrolled in post-graduate certificate programs.
The TEACH Grant awards up to $4,000 per year, with a maximum amount of $16,000.
Unlike a typical grant, a TEACH Grant needs to be “repaid.” To do so, the student must agree to become a full-time teacher for low-income students in a high-demand field. The commitment time is four academic years, which students have to complete within eight years of graduation.
Alternatively, the individual can repay the grant as a direct, unsubsidized loan with interest earned since disbursement.
What Student Loan Programs Does Utah Have?
If you’re a Utah student, you can try availing any of the federal student loans available to you. The state of Utah itself doesn’t have any student loan program. Still, it does have debt forgiveness and repayment programs you can look into.
Federal student loans
Prospective students can receive federal financial aid assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA).
Private co-signed student loans
There are many private student loan opportunities for those who need additional assistance on top of federal student loans. Many banks, credit unions, and dedicated lending companies offer private student loans, but almost all require a co-signer.
No co-signer student loans in Utah
Funding U began because we identified thousands of students who were unable to qualify for a private student loan because they didn’t have an eligible co-signer. While we’re no longer the only provider of such loans, we offer no co-signer student loans to career-focused students currently enrolled full time in college. The requirements for receiving a loan are dependent upon the GPA of the student and the graduation rate of the institution they attend. To learn more about our no co-signer student loans click here.
NOTE: Funding U does not offer loans to residents of the state of Utah. However, if you are attending a school located in Utah and are a resident of another state that is eligible you may apply.
What Schools Does Funding U Lend To In Utah?
Generally speaking, Funding U’s no co-signer loans go to students at eligible four-year, non-profit, undergraduate degree-granting universities. We do not lend to for-profit schools, two-year schools, graduate schools, or trade schools. Our eligibility requirements are based on models that aim to predict how likely a student is to graduate. Because of that, we have minimum GPA requirements that students must meet and minimum six-year graduation rates that schools must reach to be eligible. To find out more about how we determine our eligibility, click here.
Below is a table listing all of the schools in Utah that Funding U currently lends to, with additional details on which grades we now lend to, based on the school’s six-year graduation rate.
|Brigham Young University-Provo||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||86||90|
|Southern Utah University||No||No||No||No||49||71|
|University of Utah||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||70||90|
|Utah State University||No||No||Yes||Yes||50||69|
|Utah Valley University||No||No||No||No||35||66|
|Weber State University||No||No||No||No||34||65|
|Westminster College (Utah)||No||No||Yes||Yes||61||80|
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