State Aid Programs
Utah is experiencing a variety of dramatic changes including population growth, demographic shifts, and a growing need to increase degree attainment of first-generation, low-income, and adult students in order to meet Utah’s workforce needs.
Utah Promise Scholarship (need-based)
The Utah Promise Scholarship is the first-ever statewide needs-based scholarship program in Utah. It is available to recent high school graduates and adult learners at Utah’s public colleges and universities, as well as Utah’s public technical colleges. The Utah Promise Scholarship will cover up to tuition and fees for up to two years. The Utah Promise Scholarship is patterned after Dream Weber and SLCC Promise in accordance with H.B. 260, Access Utah Promise Scholarship.
Opportunity Scholarship (academic)
New legislation passed during the 2021 session created a simplified, statewide, achievement-based scholarship—the Opportunity Scholarship. The Opportunity Scholarship will be awarded based on academic achievement during high school.
The Opportunity Scholarship will be available to students beginning with the high school graduating class of 2022.
Public Safety Officer Career Advancement Reimbursement (PSOCAR) Program
The PSOCAR Program reimburses up to half of tuition and fees (maximum of $5,000 per year, subject to funding) for students enrolled in criminal justice related programs at a Utah System of Higher Education institution, and is available for up to eight academic years.
PSOCAR was reinstated with S.B. 6003, Law Enforcement Tuition Reimbursement in the 2020 6th Special Session of the Utah Legislature after being temporarily discontinued in 2019. Detailed rules for this program can be found in Utah Code Title 53B, Chapter 8, Section 112.
T. H. Bell Education Scholarship (for future educators)
The T.H. Bell Scholarship is for those intent on entering the teaching profession in Utah. It can be used at all public or private institutions in Utah that offer an approved program including Brigham Young University, Dixie State University, Salt Lake Community College, Snow College, Southern Utah University, University of Utah, Utah State University, Utah Valley University, Weber State University, Western Governors University, and Westminster College. Changes include:
- This program was previously the T. H. Bell Teaching Incentive Loan Program, but in accordance with HB 188, T.H. Bell Program Amendments passed in the 2019 legislative session, the program is now a scholarship.
- Awards distributed prior to July 1, 2019 are forgivable loans and after July 1, 2019 are scholarships.
The Terrel H. Bell Teaching Incentive Loan Program transitioned to the Terrel H. Education Scholarship Program on July 1, 2019. Awards distributed prior to July 1, 2019, are forgivable loans and after July 1, 2019, are scholarships.
The Terrel H. Bell Education Scholarship Program aims to recruit first-generation students into teaching, encourage outstanding students to work in high-need fields, and recognize teaching as a critically important career in Utah. The scholarship can be used at public or private higher education institutions in Utah that offer approved programs: Brigham Young University, Dixie State University, Salt Lake Community College, Snow College, Southern Utah University, University of Utah, Utah State University, Utah Valley University, Weber State University, Western Governors University, and Westminster College.
T.H. Bell Scholarships may be for up to the cost of resident tuition, fees, and books, and may be received for up to four consecutive years. Recipients must study in an approved teacher preparation program or in an approved program that prepares an individual to become a speech-language pathologist or another licensed professional providing services in a public school to students with disabilities.
Undergraduate and graduate students who meet required academic standards, are enrolled in at least six credits, intend to apply to and complete an approved program, and intend to work in a Utah public school are eligible to apply.
Scholarship priority: (1) first-generation students who intend to work in any teaching field or licensure area; (2) students who are not first-generation, but intend to work in a teaching field or licensure area where there is high need; (3) other students who meet the requirements of the scholarship.
Contact an eligible Utah higher education institution (see above) for more information on the application process and deadlines.
The program is subject to other requirements in accordance with Utah state law and Utah Board of Higher Education policy.
WICHE Professional Student Exchange Program
The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP) allows Utah residents to enroll in cooperating out-of-state optometry and podiatry professional programs because those fields of study are not available at public institutions in Utah. Students enrolled through WICHE’s Professional Student Exchange Program pay reduced tuition. Their home state of Utah pays a “support fee” to the enrolling school to reduce the cost of the student’s education. State support and program participation affecting students are subject to change by legislative or administrative action. A completed and approved application does not guarantee funding; state legislative appropriations determine the number of students the state can support each year.
Applications are due by October 15th. To be considered, applicants must demonstrate 5+ years of Utah residency prior to applying.
Higher Education Success Stipend
Veteran’s Tuition Gap Program
The Veterans Tuition Gap Program (VeT Gap) is a State supplement grant to provide assistance that can cover tuition, fees, and books for veterans who are attending institutions of higher education in Utah and whose benefits under the federal program have been exhausted or are not available. This program is only available to higher education institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees.
Talent Development Incentive Loan Program
The Talent Development Incentive is a loan given to students who intend to work in Utah in a qualifying job.
Every other academic year, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development selects five jobs that have the highest demand for new employees and offer high wages. Beginning the August of that year, those five positions are designated as qualifying jobs for the purposes of this incentive loan program. Qualifying jobs meet the following criteria:
- Rank in the top 40 percent of jobs based on an employment index that considers job growth rates and total openings.
- Rank in the top 40 percent for wages.
- Requires an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree.
The loan amount may be up to the cost of resident tuition, fees, and books for the number of credit hours that student is enrolled in each semester.
Full loan details are outlined in Board policy R615, Talent Development Incentive Loan Program.
Utah Private, Non-Profit School Scholarship
This application is for 2020 high school graduates who intended to apply for the Regents’ Scholarship but opted not to do so because their preferred Utah institution did not qualify.
Other State Scholarships
The State of Utah also offers Career and Technical Education Scholarships for noncredit programs at public colleges in Utah and technical colleges. Students should talk to their college for more information.