Accredited Degree Programs, Scholarships and Resources for Top Schools
One of the fastest growing states economically in the country, Utah is home to a host of educational opportunities – both online and on-campus – via their public universities, community colleges, technical and vocational schools, and private colleges. Online education plays a significant role in the state's K-12 and post-secondary environments, helping Utah grant over 41,000 degrees in the 2012-2013 school year.
Best Online Colleges in Utah
According to U.S. News & World Report, Utah college students graduate with the lowest student debt levels compared to their peers in the rest of the country. Utah also maintains one of the lowest tuition rates among higher education institutions (No. 4) across the nation. Both facts reveal the value that Utah places on education and the level of support the state government is willing to extend its students. Continue reading to find out more about relevant higher education topics such as accreditation, financial assistance, online schools and colleges in Utah, and adult education.
How Much More Do College Grads in Utah Make?
Several factors affect salary levels in each state and in the country as a whole, including economic performance, work industry, and job location. Studies have shown a strong correlation between educational attainment and salary level. As indicated in the table below, completing postsecondary education (or a higher degree) positively affects earning capacity, and Utah reflects a similar trend.
|Less Than a High School Diploma||High School Diploma||Associate Degree||Bachelor's Degree||Master's Degree||Doctoral Degree|
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Top Online Programs
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Paying for Online College in Utah: Tuition and Financial Aid
College students enrolled in a public four-year institution in Utah enjoy one of the lowest tuition rates in the country -- following Wyoming, Florida, and Nevada. To be sure, affordability is only one factor that affects college graduation rates, but lowering the cost of a postsecondary degree will make it that much easier for young people to earn it. Explore the following scholarships and grants to find out which ones can help you reach your academic goals.
|In-State Tuition||Out-of-State Tuition||National Average|
|$6,557||$20,168||$9,037 (In-State); $25,651 (Out-of-State)|
|Tuition||Out-of-State Tuition||National Average|
Cost Considerations for Online Students in Utah
Students enrolled in online schools and colleges in Utah do not need to worry about many of the costs their on-campus counterparts do, including room, board, and transportation. However, most schools offering off-campus programs charge online enrollees a different set of fees, five of which you can find below.
- 1. Technology Fee
Online students usually have to pay an additional technology fee to gain access to recorded lectures, live discussion groups, and other digital resources.
- 2. Exam/Assessments
Schools offering online programs often allow off-campus students to take exams in designated testing areas near their homes. Students shoulder the cost of these exams.
- 3. Laboratory Fees
Online students enrolled in classes with a lab component pay these fees just like on-campus enrollees. Many classes schedule at least one lab session a week, which can add considerable transportation costs and parking fees.
- 4. Course Materials
Some schools charge additional fees for online students to access course materials that have to be converted into digital form, such as textbooks and lecture notes.
- 5. Clinical Fees
Programs with clinical requirements, like social work or nursing, allow online students to fulfill these requirements within their geographical area. However, students have to pay the monitoring and administrative costs that come with the program.
Qualifying for In-State Tuition in Utah
Students can establish Utah residency for the purpose of paying in-state tuition by living in the state for at least 12 months prior to your starting school year, registering to vote within the state, obtaining a Utah driver's license, and becoming financially independent for tax-paying purposes.
Utah also participates in three programs administered by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education which allows students to pay resident tuition at institutions in participating states. Be sure to check the residency requirements of any prospective schools since they usually have considerable leeway in interpreting a student's residency status.
Paying for College in Utah: Scholarships and Financial Aid
Students enrolling in an online school or college in Utah can often apply to the same financial assistance programs as on-campus students. Individual colleges sometimes offer funding options earmarked for their online enrollees. Explore the scholarships and grants presented below and find out how you can finance your college education without incurring massive student debt in the process.
Scholarships for Utah College Students
Who Can Apply: Traditional college students and nontraditional enrollees can apply for this need-based scholarship opportunity. Applicants must attend an institution belonging to the Utah System of Higher Education or the Utah System of Technical Colleges.
Amount: Up to full tuition and fees
Who Can Apply: This program accepts applications from exemplary high school graduates with a minimum 3.5 GPA who concurrently earn an associate degree (minimum 3.0 GPA) with their high school diploma.
Who Can Apply: The program accepts applications from undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a teaching program leading to certification. Priority is given to first-generation applicants and students willing to teach in a high-need field after graduation.
Amount: Up to full tuition, fees, and blocks
Who Can Apply: Family members of Utah law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty can apply for this scholarship opportunity. The deceased family member can be an officer for the county sheriff department, the Utah Highway Patrol, the municipal police department, or other law enforcement agencies.
Who Can Apply: The program accepts applications from graduating high school seniors (must be Utah residents) and requires the submission of a brief informative and creative video about avoiding, managing, or reducing student debt.
Grants for Utah College Students
Who Can Apply: The state chann els this program through accredited participating Utah institutions of higher learning. Applicants must show proof of Utah residency and financial need.
Who Can Apply: Disadvantaged students, including members of minority groups and students with disabilities, can apply for financial assistance under this program channeled through Utah colleges and universities. Part-time students can apply.
Who Can Apply: The program accepts applications from Utah students with demonstrable financial need enrolled in a degree, diploma, or certificate program at an accredited public or private Utah institution.
Who Can Apply: Utah participates in the LEAP federal grant program administered through colleges and universities throughout the state. Applicants must demonstrate financial need, and each institution maintains a specific set of eligibility requirements.
Amount: Up to $2,500
Who Can Apply: Student veterans and Utah residents completing their final year of undergraduate studies can apply to this grant program through the financial aid office of their college or university.
Amount: Up to cost of tuition
The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Utah
A school's accreditation is a sign of its commitment to providing first-rate education to students. Take the time to find out the accreditation status of a prospective college or university to make sure the degree you earn will be worth your investment of time and money. Graduating from an accredited institution also increases your employability after graduation. Employers seek graduates of accredited colleges and universities because they know that these young professionals come with strong industry knowledge and well-developed skills.
Regional and National Accreditation
The Commission for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) oversee regional and national accrediting agencies. Degree-oriented nonprofit schools typically seek regional accreditation. These schools can be private or public two- or four-year institutions. Vocational, for-profit, and career-oriented schools tend to seek national accreditation. Sectarian schools also frequently seek this type of accreditation.
ED and CHEA also oversee accrediting bodies that issue subject-specific or programmatic accreditations. For example, the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology only accredits bachelor's and master's programs in computing, engineering, applied and natural science, and engineering technology. Other programmatic accrediting agencies accredit programs up to the doctoral level.
How to Know if Your School or Program is Accredited
Accredited colleges and universities usually attract highly qualified tenured professors, many of whom hold advanced or terminal degrees in their field. Be on your guard when adjunct professors make up most of a school's faculty. Begin your search for a school's accreditation status by checking the CHEA directory, which maintains a current list of accredited institutions throughout the country.
Online College and Adult Education in Utah
Many online schools and colleges in Utah attract high school graduates and adult learners. Utah recognizes the importance of education for all its residents and provides ample educational opportunities for students of all ages and backgrounds, as you can see with the table below.
By the Numbers: Adult Education in Utah
Adult Education Programs for Utah Students
Adults who lack high school-level skills in reading, writing, and mathematics can enroll in ABE classes delivered through several provider networks, including community colleges and local education agencies.
ELA program participants gain proficiency in speaking, reading, writing, and understanding the English language. The program also helps students acquire skills that can help them qualify for employment or vocational training programs.
Students attend classes that meet the academic requirements for a Utah Adult Secondary Diploma. Enrollees with previous verifiable high school credits can apply the credits toward their diploma.
Online College Resources for Utah Students
Just like on-campus enrollees, students at online schools and colleges in Utah can take advantage of several resources designed to help them reach their educational and career objectives. Browse through the online resources below to find out which ones you can use in your pursuit of a college degree.