According to new data from the College Board, tuition at Utah’s public universities is once again third-lowest in the nation. The average 2017-18 in-state tuition and fees at Utah’s four-year institutions is $6,790, compared to the national average of $9,970. This is in addition to having the lowest average student debt in the country at $18,810 (compared to the national average of $27,975).
Utah has the third-lowest tuition and fees at its public universities in the country:
- Wyoming: $5,220
- Florida: $6,360
- Utah: $6,790
Average 2017-18 Tuition and Fees at Public Four-Year Institutions by State
The Utah State Board of Regents, along with institutional presidents, has worked to keep tuition among the lowest in the country. One of the main areas of focus in the Board of Regents’ ten-year strategic plan is Affordable Participation, which aims to increase the number of Utahns who decide to access, are prepared for, and succeed in higher education.
Working to educate Utahns on the cost of college, how to pay for college, and the FAFSA
In addition to keeping tuition low, the Board of Regents is working to make students aware of the many ways to pay for college and the importance of filling out the FAFSA.
Institutions in the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) provide tuition and fee calculators for students to estimate their costs, which includes estimating financial aid they will receive. The 2017-18 USHE tuition and fees calculator is an excellent resource and provides links to each individual USHE institution’s net price calculator.
USHE’s outreach initiative, StepUp to Higher Education, helps students plan how they and their families are going to pay for college, starting as early as eighth grade. StepUp hosts FAFSA Completion Open Houses throughout the state to help students and their parents complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which is a gateway application that determines how much financial aid a student can receive for college in the form of Pell Grants, work-study, federal student loans, and some scholarships.
According to a new analysis, completion of the 2017-18 FAFSA by eligible high school seniors has jumped an incredible 39% over last year, thanks in part to these efforts. On average, FAFSA completions are up 10% across the country. These substantial increases could be attributed to the earlier filing timeline of the FAFSA for the 2017-18 year: instead of January 2017, students were able to start filing their 2017-18 FAFSA as early as October 2016. This change was made possible by allowing students to use the prior prior tax year to file. For example, tax data from the 2015 year was used to file the 2017-18 FAFSA. While this significant increase is good news for Utah, it could be because the state has such a long way to go. As of the 2016-17 cycle, Utah had the lowest rate of FAFSA completion in the country. In fact, that year, there were no school districts in Utah where more than half of the high school graduates completed the FAFSA.