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.
Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.
Best Online Colleges in Utah 2020
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.
Independence University is an entirely online college with degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Programs focus on health care, graphic design, technology and business. Depending on the program, students can earn an associate degree in about 2 years, a bachelor's degree in less than 4 years and a master's degree in 16 months when studying full time. IU offers scholarships, financial aid, free tutoring, student advisers, an online community of peers and career services to their students. An admissions consultant helps prospective students through the enrollment process. Transfer students can transfer up to 75% of the credits needed for an undergraduate degree and up to 25% for a master's degree.
Online students at Utah State University have access to academic and career advisers, tutors and proctoring resources. Distance learning students are also eligible for scholarships and financial aid through the university. USU offers a range of certificates, as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees fully online, including bachelor's degrees in communicative disorders and deaf education, with students also choosing a minor. Courses last either 7 or 14 weeks, depending on the classes chosen. Transfer students can submit their previous academic credits toward their online degrees through USU.
Weber State University offers several online programs and many online courses, as well as hybrid classes. Students can enroll in an undergraduate degree program to earn an associate degree online. The health information technology, computer science or medical lab technician training associate degrees can also be applied towards a Bachelor of Integrated Studies degree, which requires students to pursue 3 academic areas. Choices include child and family studies, computer science, health administrative services, health promotion, health sciences, nutrition and professional sales. The final capstone project brings all 3 areas of emphasis together. Courses are either semester-based or self-paced. Self-paced students have 6 months to complete courses but may complete them in as little as 4 weeks. All students are eligible for financial aid and private donor scholarships through WSU. Some programs require in-person coursework in order for students to graduate, and distance learning students may need to hire a proctor to complete tests.
Southern Utah University provides more than a dozen online undergraduate and graduate degree paths for students to explore, as well as certificates and hybrid programs. Students can earn an online bachelor's degree in accounting, education, music education, communication and interdisciplinary studies. There are also online master's degrees in these areas, along with degrees in arts, business administration, cybersecurity, music technology, social work, sports conditioning and performance, and public administration. Online students follow the same tuition and semester schedule as on-campus students, graduate in the same time frame - if not sooner - as on-campus students pursuing the same degree or certification and they pay in-state tuition for their online program.
A bachelor's program, 2 master's programs and an RN-to-BSN program are all available completely online at Westminster College. The bachelor's degree in business administration is a 4-year program. The master of strategic communication program takes 18 months to complete and the other master's program, an MBA, is an 18-24 month program. Financial aid is available, as are several scholarships ranging from $2,000-$5,000. Graduation requirements and career opportunities vary by program, but all online students have access to the same services as their on-campus counterparts.
Students can select from 12 bachelor's degree programs, 11 associate degrees, 2 master's and 4 certificates at Utah Valley University, all of which are available online, although some programs may include a residency requirement. Students are invited to use the Career Connections tool before choosing a program to identify careers that are common to each course of study. There is also a dedicated graduation page that distance learners can visit to learn the exact requirements needed to complete each program.
How Can I Find Which Online Colleges Offer the Degree I’m Looking for in Utah?
The Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) does not maintain a centralized website that lists all the online degrees and classes offered by the state’s more than 30 institutions of higher education. However, you can easily find this information by visiting the website/s of your prospective school/s. You can also begin your search by clicking on the icon below.Search All Accredited Schools in Utah
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.
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.
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.
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.
Exams/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.
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.
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.
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
Access Utah Promise Scholarship
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.
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.
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.
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.
Utah Leveraging Educational Assistance Partership Program
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.
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
Approximately 67% of U.S. students who take online courses are enrolled in a public college or university.
About 40% of USHE students enrolled in at least one online course.
USHE institutions offer more than 80 fully online degrees and certificates.
Adult Basic Education: 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.
English Language Acquisition: 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.
Adult Secondary Education: 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.
Careers — Utah.gov: College students can look for internship or apprenticeship programs throughout the state, search for jobs after graduation, and learn how to start their own business. The website also provides helpful tips on resume writing and interview techniques for recent graduates.
Hippocampus: A resource that targets both teachers and students, Hippocampus provides access to more than 7,000 videos in 13 key subject areas including calculus and advanced mathematics, history and government, chemistry, and statistics and probability.
Utah Academic Library Consortium: UALC provides access to a vast collection of electronic resources including professional journals, encyclopedias, and videos. Students can use the resources for research papers and/or creative classroom projects.
UtahFutures: This website provides information on scholarship programs, career options in Utah, and the college admission process. Students can also find help in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, test preparation tips, and resume writing assistance.
Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority: As part of USHE, UHEAA administers student loan programs and provides college students and their families with information on repayment, deferred payment plans, default prevention, and loan consolidation.
Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.