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.

The State of Utah offers two academic scholarships, one new need-based scholarship, and one teaching scholarship. The State of Utah also offers a variety of other loans and stipends to assist students in paying for college.

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 HB 260, Access Utah Promise Scholarship.

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.

Award:

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.

Eligibility:

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.

Deadlines:

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.

UtahCode 53B-8-116
Board of Higher Ed Policy R621

WICHE Professional Student Exchange Program

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Professional Student Exchange Program enables students in 11 western states to enroll in selected out-of-state professional programs usually because those fields of study are not available at public institutions in their home states. Students enrolled in the WICHE Professional Student Exchange Program receive preference in admission. They pay reduced levels of tuition: for most students, resident tuition in public institutions or reduced standard tuition at private schools. The home state pays a support fee to the admitting school to help cover the cost of students’ education. Fields supported by your state are listed below. State support and program participation affecting students are subject to change by legislative or administrative action. The number of students supported by each state is determined through state legislative appropriations. Utah participates in the Optometry and Podiatry programs.

Completed forms are due October 15, 2020.

2020-21 Podiatry and Optometry Application

Regents’ Scholarship and New Century Scholarship (academic)

The state’s academic scholarships—the Regents’ and New Century Scholarship programs—are awarded based on academic achievement during high school.

Changes for the Regents’ Scholarship Class of 2020 include:

  • This academic scholarship may be used to cover up to tuition and fees, after other state aid is awarded. As such, award amounts vary based on individual circumstances.
  • The Regents’ Scholarship can now be used at institutions in the Utah System of Higher Education, including technical colleges, and at the following private, non profit institutions in Utah – Brigham Young University, Ensign College (formerly LDS Business College), Westminster College, and Western Governors University.


Changes for the New Century Scholarship Class of 2020 include:

  • This academic scholarship may be used to cover up to tuition and fees, after other state aid is awarded. As such, award amounts vary based on individual circumstances.
  • The New Century Scholarship can now be used at Utah’s public colleges and universities that grant bachelor’s degrees, not at private institutions like Brigham Young University and Westminster College.
Higher Education Success Stipend

The Higher Education Success Stipend Program is a grant available to undergraduate students with financial need who are studying at a Utah public or private non-profit college, university, or technical college.

The full program is outlined in Board policy R605, 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.

The full program is outlined in Board policy R611, Veteran’s Tuition Gap Program.

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.

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.