New legislation passed during the 2021 session created a simplified, statewide, achievement-based scholarship—the Opportunity Scholarship. The Opportunity Scholarship will be available to students beginning with the high school graduating class of 2022.
These requirements were created after examining data from the last five years of Utah high school graduates to identify the top predictors of college success.
For the class of 2022 only: Students graduating with the class of 2022 may qualify for the Opportunity Scholarship through a Regents’ Track by completing the requirements previously set for the Regents’ Scholarship or the Advanced Course Track by meeting the requirements detailed above. Details regarding Regents’ Track can be found here.
For the class of 2023 and beyond: Students may only qualify for the Opportunity Scholarship by completing the advanced course track described above. No exceptions will be made.
Students earn core credit by completing the following courses in each subject area, based on Utah State Board of Education (USBE) standards. Students will need to work with their high school to find out which courses are offered and available at their school.
Eligible courses are any Concurrent Enrollment (CE), Advanced Placement (AP), or International Baccalaureate (IB) course that aligns to a USBE core code starting with “06” (Language Arts), “07” (Mathematics), and “08” Science. We recommend using the Concurrent Enrollment Master List (core code listed) to find acceptable CE courses.
Students may earn credit through Early College courses completed in grades 9-12 that are included on the CE Master List as described above.
For the Class of 2022 only: Requirements for the two tracks are wholly exclusive; applicants cannot earn the Opportunity Scholarship by combining individual courses from each track. Students completing the Regents’ Track requirements must refer to the list of acceptable courses in this document.
Language Arts (Advanced Course Track)
Mathematics (advanced course track)
Science (advanced course track)
*Lecture credit required (example: Biology 1010), lab credit recommended, but optional (example: Biology 1015)
Awards will be determined based on available funding and the number of qualified applicants. Individual awards may be used toward the cost of tuition and fees, after other state aid is applied.
All students who qualify for the Opportunity Scholarship (under the Regents’ and Advanced Course Tracks) will be given the same award consideration and maximum award amount.
The Opportunity Scholarship can be used at Dixie State University, Salt Lake Community College, Snow College, Southern Utah University, Utah State University, Utah Valley University, University of Utah, Weber State University and the following private, non-profit institutions in Utah: Brigham Young University (Provo), Ensign College, Westminster College, and Western Governors University.
Students may defer use of the scholarship to attend a technical college that is part of the Utah System of Higher Education and then transfer to an eligible institution listed above.
Deferment of the Opportunity Scholarship may also be granted for students who plan to provide a religious, humanitarian, or military service, face medical reasons they cannot attend school, or other reasons approved by an eligible institution. Scholarship recipients must coordinate any deferment with individual institutions before departure.
To simplify the scholarships available from the State of Utah and update the previous requirements, the Utah Legislature voted during the 2021 Legislative Session to replace the Regents’ Scholarship and the New Century Scholarship with the Opportunity Scholarship.
These changes will better align the scholarships administered by the Utah System of Higher Education. The three scholarships offered include the need-based Utah Promise Scholarship, the Technical College Scholarship, and the merit-based Opportunity Scholarship.
The new scholarship has simplified requirements, which are easier for students to follow and understand.
The new scholarship leverages the effectiveness of earning college credit while still in high school. For example, Concurrent Enrollment courses cost $5/credit, are transferable, and are widely available to Utah students.
The new scholarship changes allow for better collaboration between the Utah System of Higher Education and K-12 partners at the Utah State Board of Education to address existing equity gaps.
These scholarship changes also allow for updated achievement-based criteria that are based on data relevant to Utah high school students.
No, the Opportunity Scholarship is achievement-based and requires students to complete advanced coursework in high school. Completing a FAFSA is required as part of the application process, but federal aid is not considered when determining eligibility.
Additional details about the application process will be coming soon and will be posted to this webpage.
We anticipate that students will be able to apply in the fall of 2021.