What is the Regents’ Scholarship?
Since its inception in 2008, the legislatively-funded, merit-based Regents’ Scholarship has encouraged high school students to prepare for college by taking a core course of study above and beyond the Utah high school graduation requirements.
How is the Regents’ Scholarship different from traditional scholarships?
There are several ways that the Regents’ Scholarship differs from traditional scholarships:
- Any student who meets the requirements (academic and non-academic) is awarded the scholarship.
- The dollar amount of the scholarship is based on annual legislative appropriations.
What courses are required to earn the Regents’ Scholarship?
The high school courses required to qualify for the Regents’ Scholarship are as follows:
- 4 credits of English
- 4 progressive credits of math (at minimum Math 1, 2 and 3, plus one class beyond Math 3)
- 3.5 credits of social science
- 3 credits of lab-based science (specifically one each of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics)
- 2 progressive credits of the same world language (other than English) during grades 9-12
What information is needed from scholarship applicants?
Scholarship dollar amounts depend on grades earned in these courses, as well as ACT score and cumulative high school GPA. For 2016 Regents’ Scholarship applicants, the required information includes general applicant information (contact info, citizenship verification, etc.), official high school and college transcript(s) to verify high school course grades and GPA, ACT score, and college credit, if any (for example, through the concurrent enrollment program).
Where do Regents’ Scholarship recipients attend college?
This scholarship may be used at any public college or university in the Utah System of Higher Education, as well as BYU-Provo, LDS Business College, and Westminster College. The majority attend BYU (28%). Utah State University (21%) and the University of Utah (17%) are the next most-attended. About 1/3 of recipients defer the award immediately after high school graduation, for humanitarian, civil, or military service (for example, for a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
What is the application process and deadlines for the Regents’ Scholarship?
The following is the application process and deadlines for the high school graduating class of 2016:
Can a student appeal a denial of the Regents’ Scholarship?
Yes, students may appeal scholarship application decisions. This allows students to provide any additional information not received in the application. Some of the most common errors include inconsistencies in course naming, missing transcript data, and incorrect grades. In fact, over 20,000 transcripts have been reviewed individually since the beginning of the Regents’ Scholarship program in 2008.
How much has the Regents’ Scholarship grown?
The Regents’ Scholarship has averaged 50% year-over-year growth from its inception in 2008 to 2015. To keep up with growth, USHE is requesting $8 million in ongoing state funds in 2016. In fact, a 20% increase in awards is projected for this year.
What is being done to improve the application process?
In a survey of the 2015 cohort, 87% of applicants reported the directions for completing the application was easy to follow, and 89% completed the application in less than one hour.
Still, it is important to continually look for ways to improve the Regents’ Scholarship application process. In fact, in 2016, scholarship applicants now use an application portal. This allows students to review information and verify submissions online. The portal includes tutorial videos and the ability for pre-preemptive messaging to applicants, to notify them of upcoming deadlines and missing documents from their application. It also allows students to see their individualized checklist of documents that are waiting to be received by the scholarship office.
In addition to that, students can meet with Regents’ Scholarship specialists to develop their high school plan and make sure they’re on-track. Events are hosted throughout the year to inform parents and students about the Regents’ Scholarship.
Also, Utah’s high school counselors are given the opportunity to participate in many free professional development opportunities put on by the Regents’ Scholarship office, such as webinars and in-service workshops.
Is the Regents’ Scholarship program working?
In several key metrics, Regents’ Scholarship recipients perform significantly better when in college than the average student in the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).
- Regents’ Scholarship recipients earn an average first-year cumulative college GPA of 3.6, a full point higher than the USHE student average.
- Regents’ Scholarship recipients earn over ten credits more during their first year in college than the USHE student average.
- Less than 2% of all Regents’ Scholarship recipients have had to take remedial math during college.