Affordable College Options for Utah Residents

Going to college is one of the most important steps any person can make toward the future. The state of Utah is aiming to make college affordable for any of its residents who want to go. Full of a variety of opportunities for residents, even those with low income, Utah is a great place to live for those considering how they might be able to send their kids to college in a few years. Looking into all of the college options is the best way to make an educated decision about where to send your kids to college and how you might be able to make it with the most affordable options.

Community College

Many students are realizing the wisdom of attending a community college for a year or two prior to heading off to a four year university. This gives a great deal of financial benefit while the student is able to complete core classes for a fraction of the cost. This is also beneficial if the student is not exactly sure what he or she wants to major in, so taking these less expensive classes which will transfer is great while decisions about the future are being made.

In State Tuition

Those who are legal residents of Utah are able to attend state colleges and universities for much less than it would cost for an out-of-state student to go to these very same schools. Some of the schools which offer the least expensive rates for in state students are Dixie State College of Utah in Saint George, Weber State University in Ogden, Utah Valley University in Orem, Brigham Young University Provo, and Utah State University in Logan. Considering these schools at the top of the list might be a great idea when looking to save money spent on college tuition and other expenses.

Scholarships in Utah

Talking to the advisor at the college you want to attend, as well as researching college scholarships for Utah online, can give you an important understanding of the kinds of financial aid which are available to you to pay for your college or your children’s college education. State programs in Utah include the Step Up program, work study options, the New Century Scholarship, and the Regents’ Scholarship, just to name a few. Scholarships may be based upon financial need, academics, hobbies, talents, or personal interests.

Applications are usually fairly simple and can often be resourced through a high school counseling center or through the website for the particular college you think you might want to attend.  Also, of course, Federal Financial aid can be obtained through using the FAFSA form to see what you qualify for based upon income and other factors. Many scholarships require a FAFSA application in order to qualify so it is best to fill it out and turn it in no matter what your financial situation.

Pre-College Credits for High Schoolers

One other way to consider making college less expensive is to plan ahead and have your high school student enroll in a program which will allow him or her to get college credit for classes. These are often offered through local community colleges and can often be arranged to be taken as online classes or on campus, depending on the situation. Look into this as your kids are beginning high school in order to understand the details and get the most advantage out of this program.

Savings

The state of Utah also offers its Educational Savings Plan (ESP) which is a 529 College Savings Program for residents who want to save. The State has one of the top programs in the country, with low administrative costs, making it one of the best states to live in while saving for college for young children. It’s never too early to start saving as there are tax advantages, flexibility, and low fees.

College can be expensive, but there are certainly ways to make sure that it is affordable if you know where to look. Whether through scholarships, savings plans, community colleges, or other decisions, these affordable college options for Utah residents can make it possible to get an excellent degree which costs significantly less than it might in other states or simply by paying out of pocket.