R609B, Regents’ Scholarship

R609-1 Purpose: The Regents’ Scholarship rewards students whose academic achievements demonstrate a high likelihood of college success and also provides additional financial aid to qualifying students whose economic resources may prevent access to higher education.

R609-2 References

2.1. Utah Code Ann. §53B-8-108 et seq., Regents’ Scholarship Program.

2.2. Utah Admin. Code §R277-700-7, High School Requirements (Effective for Graduating Students Beginning with the 2010-2011 School Year).

R609-3 Definitions

3.1. “Advanced Math” means any of the following courses: pre-calculus, calculus, statistics, AP calculus AB, AP calculus BC, AP statistics, college courses Math 1030 and higher, IB Math SL, HL, and Further Math.

3.2. “Board” means the Board of Higher Education.

3.3. “College Course Work” means any instance in which college credit is earned, including but not limited to, concurrent enrollment, distance education, dual enrollment, or early college.

3.4. “Eligible Institutions” means USHE institutions or any private, nonprofit institution of higher education in Utah accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) that enters into a data sharing MOU with the Board of Higher Education.

3.5. “Excusable Neglect” means a failure to take proper steps at the proper time, not in consequence of carelessness, inattention, or willful disregard of the scholarship application process, but in consequence of some unexpected or unavoidable hindrance or accident.

3.6. “Good Cause” means the student’s failure to meet a scholarship application process requirement was due to circumstances beyond the student’s control or circumstances that are compelling and reasonable.

3.7. “High School” means a public school established by the Utah State Board of Education or private high school within the boundaries of the State of Utah. If a private high school, it shall be accredited by a regional accrediting body approved by the Board.

3.8. “Scholarship Appeals Committee” means the committee designated by Commissioner of Higher Education to review appeals of Regents’ Scholarship award decisions and take final agency action regarding awards.

3.9. “Scholarship Award” means a one-time scholarship awarded to all eligible applicants who meet the eligibility requirements of section R609-4.

3.10. “Scholarship Staff” means the employees assigned to review Regents’ Scholarship applications and make initial decisions awarding the scholarships.

3.11. “Substantial Compliance” means the applicant, in good faith, demonstrated clear intent to comply with the scholarship application requirements and has demonstrated likely eligibility, but failed to precisely comply with the application specifics.

3.12. “Supplemental Award” means a four-semester award of additional funds based on the recipient’s financial ability to access higher education.

R609-4. Award Requirements

4.1. To qualify for the Regents’ Scholarship, the applicant shall satisfy the following criteria:

4.1.1. Graduate from a Utah high school with a minimum, non-weighted GPA of 3.3.

4.1.2. Complete four credits of English.

4.1.3. Complete four credits of math, including one course of advanced math.

4.1.4. Complete three credits of lab-based biology, chemistry and physics.

4.1.5. Complete two credits of world languages.

4.1.6. Complete three credits of social science.

4.1.7. Complete the ACT with a minimum score of 22.

4.1.8. Receive an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) by completing and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

4.2. A student may satisfy a course requirement through a competency-based assessment provided it is documented for credit on an official transcript.

4.3. The courses completed shall be unique except when repeated for a higher grade.

4.4. Repeated course work shall not count toward accumulation of required credits.

4.5. College Course Work: College course work will only be evaluated if the applicant submits an official college transcript.  If an applicant enrolls in and completes a college course worth three or more college credits, this shall be counted as one high school credit toward the scholarship requirements.

4.6. Mandatory Enrollment:  A recipient shall enroll at an eligible institution and complete a minimum of 12 credit hours per academic semester. The institution at which the student attends shall verify the recipient has met the enrollment requirements.

4.7. New Century Scholarship:  A recipient shall not receive both a Regents’ Scholarship and the New Century Scholarship established in Utah Code Section 53B-8-105.

R609-5  Application Procedures

5.1. Application Deadline: Applicants shall submit an official scholarship application no later than February 1 of the year that they graduate from high school.  The Board may establish a priority deadline each year. Applicants who meet the priority deadline may be given first priority or consideration for the scholarship.  Subject to funding, students may be considered based on the date of they completed and submitted their application.

5.2. Required Documentation: Applicants shall submit the following documents:

5.2.1. The online Regents’ Scholarship application.

5.2.2. An official high school paper or electronic transcript, official college transcript(s) when applicable, and any other miscellaneous official transcripts demonstrating all completed courses and GPA.

5.2.3. If a student completed coursework at an educational institution outside of the district from which the student graduated, the student must submit an official transcript from the school at which he or she completed the coursework if the courses completed and grades earned are not reflected in the official high school transcript.

5.2.4. Verified ACT score(s).

R609-6  Award Amounts and Distribution of Award Funds

6.1. Funding Constraints of Awards: The Board will determine award amounts, depending on the annual legislative appropriation and the number of qualified applicants.

6.2. Scholarship Award: Students who meet the eligibility criteria will receive a one-time scholarship award, the amount of which will be determined annually by the Board

6.3. Supplemental Award: In addition to the Scholarship Award, recipients may qualify for a four-semester supplemental award up to a maximum award amount set by the Board annually.  The supplemental award amount will be distributed based the following methodology:

6.3.1. Participating institutions shall establish a range with a minimum and maximum Expected Family Contribution (EFC) based on the FAFSA within which eligible recipients’ EFC must fall to be eligible for a supplemental award. Participating institutions shall annually revise and report EFC range of eligibility to the Office of the Commissioner by February 1.

6.3.2. The institution may then award the supplemental amount to each recipient up to the established maximum award, based on state and federal aid the recipient is already receiving and the EFC. The supplemental award shall not be used to exceed the recipient’s remaining cost for tuition, fees, books, required course materials and housing after all other financial aid is considered.

6.3.3. Supplemental award recipients must maintain a 3.0 GPA and complete a minimum of 12 credit hours per academic semester or equivalent to remain eligible for the award.   Students who earn less than a 3.0 Semester GPA will be placed on probation. If the recipient again earns less than a 3.3 GPA the scholarship may be revoked. Institutions shall verify the recipient has met these requirements.

6.3.4. If in the course of distributing awards the institution reduces a recipient’s award based on that student’s other financial aid, the remaining funds may be used to distribute further supplemental awards to other recipients.   Additionally, institutions may additionally distribute unused or forfeited funds to other eligible recipients.

6.4. UESP Supplemental Award to Encourage College Savings: Subject to available funding, an applicant who qualifies for the Base award is eligible to receive up to an additional $300 in state funds to be added to the total scholarship award.

6.4.1. For each year the applicant is 14, 15, or 16 years of age and had an active UESP account, the Board may contribute, subject to available funding, $100 (i.e., up to $300 total for all three years) to the recipient’s award if at least $100 was deposited into the account for which the applicant is named the beneficiary.

6.4.2. If no contributions are made to an applicant’s account during a given year, the matching amount will likewise be $0.

6.4.3. If contributions total more than $100 in a given year, the matching amount will cap at $100 for that year.

6.4.4. Matching funds apply only to contributions, not to transfers, earnings, or interest.

R609-7  Time Constraints and Deferrals

7.1. Time Limitation: Regents’ Scholarship recipients shall use the award in its entirety within five years after their school graduation date

7.2. Deferral or Leave of Absence: Recipients who will not enroll as a student shall apply for a deferral or leave of absence with their institution.

7.2.1. Deferrals or leaves of absence may be granted, at the discretion of the institution, for military service, humanitarian/religious service, documented medical reasons, and other exigent reasons.

7.2.2. An approved deferral or leave of absence will not extend the time limits of the scholarship.  The scholarship may only be used for academic terms which begin within five years after the recipient’s high school graduation date.

R609-8  Transfers

8.1. Recipients may transfer to another eligible institution and retain the scholarship and supplemental awards.  Recipients are responsible to inform the Office of the Commissioner of their intent to transfer.   The Office of the Commissioner shall coordinate the transfer of scholarship funds and information.

R609-9 Scholarship Determinations and Appeals

9.1. Scholarship Determinations:  Submission of a scholarship application does not guarantee a scholarship award.  The Scholarship Staff shall review individual scholarship applications and determine eligibility.  Awards are based on available funding, applicant pool, and applicants’ completion of scholarship criteria by the specified deadline.

9.2. Appeals: An applicant has the right to appeal the Scholarship Staff’s adverse decision by filing an appeal with the Scholarship Appeals Committee subject to the following conditions:

9.2.1. Applicants may submit a written appeal through either the U.S. Mail or their Regents’ Scholarship Student Account.  Appeals must be postmarked (if mailed) or submitted online within 30 days of the date on which the scholarship notification was issued.

9.2.2. In the appeal, the applicant must provide his or her full name, mailing address, the high school he or she last attended, a statement of the reason for the appeal, and all information or evidence that supports the appeal. The failure of an applicant to provide the information in this subsection shall not preclude the acceptance of an appeal.

9.2.3. An appeal filed before the applicant receives official notification from the Scholarship Staff of its decision may not be considered.

9.2.4. If an applicant failed to file his or her appeal on time, the Scholarship Appeals Committee shall notify the applicant of the late filing and give him or her an opportunity to explain the reasons for failing to file the appeal by the deadline. The Scholarship Appeals Committee shall not have jurisdiction to consider the merits of an appeal that is filed beyond the deadline unless it determines the applicant established excusable neglect.

9.2.5. The Scholarship Appeals Committee shall review the appeal to determine if the award decision was made in error, or if the applicant demonstrated substantial compliance with the scholarship application requirements but failed to meet one or more requirements for good cause.

9.2.6. If the Scholarship Appeals Committee determines the applicant has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the initial decision was made in error, it shall either reverse the initial decision or remand it back to the Scholarship Staff for further review in accordance with the Appeals Committee’s instructions.

9.2.7. If the Scholarship Appeals Committee determines the applicant has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she demonstrated substantial compliance with the application process requirements and good cause for failing to meet one or more of the requirements, the Appeals Committee shall grant the applicant a reasonable period of time to complete the remaining requirements and to resubmit the completed application to the Scholarship Staff for a redetermination.  In such a case, the applicant shall have the right to appeal an adverse decision according to this rule.

9.2.8. The Scholarship Appeals Committee’s decision shall be in writing and contain its findings of facts, reasoning and conclusions of law and notice of the right to judicial review.

9.2.9. The Scholarship Appeals Committee’s decision represents the final agency action.  An applicant who disagrees with the Scholarship Appeal Committee’s Decision may seek judicial review in accordance with Utah Code Ann. 63G-4-402.

R609-10 Reporting.

10.1. As directed by the Commissioner’s staff, eligible institutions shall report to the Board of Higher Education the following:

10.1.1. The names of students the institutions awarded Regents’ Scholarship funds.

10.1.2. Enrollment information such as the current GPA, the number of credits completed, and deferment or leave of absence information.

10.1.3. Other information deemed necessary to evaluate eligibility or the effectiveness of the program.

10.2. The Board of Higher Education may, at any time, request additional documentation or data related to the Regents’ Scholarship and may review or formally audit an eligible institution’s compliance with this policy.

Adopted June 4, 1999, amended July 12, 1999, April 20, 2001, May 31, 2002, September 15, 2006.  Amended and approved by the Board October 16, 2009; April 1, 2010; March 25, 2011; March 29, 2013; April 1, 2016; November 17, 2017, and May 17, 2019.