Finding money to go to college in Utah is a common search for both parents and students. For high school students, it can mean gathering a list of potential sources of income, while those who are already in school may be looking for additional ways to continue to fund their education. Most UT students and their families will opt for student loans. The best financial aid packages, however, combine student loans with grants and scholarships that offset the amount of money that must be paid back after graduation. Many universities in Utah provide financial assistance in the form of grants and scholarships. The state also offers a loan forgiveness program for those students who agree to work in certain high-demand fields for a period of time. Finding and obtaining money to go to school in UT is often a matter of being organized and becoming aware of deadlines and requirements for the funding programs in the state. The list below offers some of the most popular grants and loans as well as information about finding scholarships throughout the state.
Grants for Utah Students
Grant money provides funding for school and does not have to be repaid. Most grant money is limited to a set amount each year, so applying as soon as possible is key. The following is a list of the grants in the state that have the most funding.
Utah Pell Grants
This type of grant is a federally issued grant that is managed and issued by the state. The amount offered is dependent on the student’s family income. Students in UT can apply for this grant by filling out the free application for student aid (FAFSA).
Utah’s Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Students need only to be enrolled part-time in UT to apply for this grant. Funds are issued to students who indicate significant financial need. This grant is also determined using information taken from the FAFSA. Many students who receive this grant are also eligible recipients for Pell Grants.
Utah Need Based Grant (N-BGR)
This is a state issued grant available to Utah residents who are going to school at least part time. Financial need will be assessed. The amounts offered will change each year depending on appropriations on the state level.
Higher Educational Success Stipend Program (HESSP) in Utah
This grant is offered either as a monetary award or to supplement a work-study program. Each university that accepts the program’s funding is allowed to determine which way it will distribute the funding. This is a needs-based grant and the amount issued is dependent on the level of government funding for the fiscal year. Students who receive this award are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress.
Utah Educationally Disadvantaged Grant (UEG)
This is a state-based grant that is issued to UT students who are part of a recognized underserved population. Enrollment, academic progress and degree of need are some of the criteria used to determine eligibility.
TEACH Grant Program in Utah
This is a very large grant program that covers a significant portion of a student’s tuition if he or she agrees to teach in a historically underserved, low-income area for at least four years and within eight years of graduation.
Loans for Utah Students
The U.S. Department of Education offers low interest, government backed, loans to qualifying students. Organized under the Title IV Loan Program, students can have their educational expenses covered. The loans must be repaid once the student leaves school. There are three main loan programs offered to students in Utah: Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS) and the Federal Direct Stafford Student Loan.
Federal Perkins Loan in Utah
Perhaps one of the most popular student loans in Utah is the Perkins loan. Students must be enrolled in an accredited university and indicate a level of need. Information gathered from the FAFSA form is used to determine eligibility. Once awarded, students are asked to sign a promissory note and take a counseling session. Not all UT universities accept the Perkins loan, so students should make certain their particular school is a participating member.
Federal Direct Stafford Student Loan
This type of student loan is offered as a subsidized loan and an unsubsidized loan. The Department of Education pays for interest on subsidized loans until six months after graduation. Then, the interest is the student’s responsibility. The interest on unsubsidized loans begins to accumulate as soon as the loan is issued.
Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Parents whose children are still considered dependent can take out a loan on their child’s behalf. Repayment begins two months after disbursement to the university. Interest rates on this type of loan are variable but capped at 9 percent. This loan is based on the parents’ credit history. FAFSA can be used to apply for this loan as well, though some schools have additional requirements.
Federal Work-Study Programs in Utah
This program is not a loan program but is issued to students as part of the FAFSA application. Students must demonstrate financial need and be attending school at least part time. Students work on campus or with recognized participating employers.
Scholarships in Utah
Utah students should also access their university’s financial aid platform to see what scholarships may be available to students attending the school. Most of these scholarships are specific to the individual school and can be tied to achievement in academics, athletics or the arts. Some scholarships are available to students who have come from a certain area in Utah or belong to a particular religious or ethnic group. Most scholarships have some sort of essay, portfolio or demonstrated talent requirement. The deadlines for scholarships will vary from one another, so it is important to keep track of it.