Students interested in attending the best online colleges in Utah will find many options. Utah features affordable tuition rates lower than the U.S. average. Students can also explore various financial aid opportunities to help them pay for their education. Students who choose to earn their degree in their home state benefit from in-state tuition rates, local name recognition, and an abundance of networking opportunities.
Higher Learning Initiatives in Utah
Public Education Online
In 2011, Utah Legislature decided that all Utah high school students should have access to online courses. Utah Public Education Online provides high school students with access to online courses created by public school educators in Utah. Each year, students are eligible to take two online courses from Public Education Online in addition to their regular high school courses. Students who wish to graduate early can also opt to take additional online courses.
Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR)
Some of the most innovative technology companies in Utah started out as research projects at public universities in the state. The goal of the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative is to attract more research teams and fund additional research projects at the University of Utah and Utah State University. Each of the projects funded by USTAR focuses on creating new technology that will stimulate Utah's economy and position the state as a leader in the tech sector. University researchers who participate in USTAR work with corporate partners in the state to bring cutting-edge technology to consumers and businesses.
Western Governors University
Utah is home to Western Governors University (WGU), a private online university founded by 19 U.S. governors in 1997. Western Governors University stands out among online colleges in the U.S. and online schools in Utah thanks to its affordable and practical degree programs. The school offers a total of 58 bachelor's and master's degree programs in business, education, the health professions, and information technology. Undergraduate tuition at WGU is around $6,000 per year, which is considerably lower than the tuition for similar online degree programs.
Popular Degree Programs in Utah
According to Business Insider, the two most popular programs in Utah are elementary education and community and public health. Many students in the state pursue degrees in these areas to prepare them for successful careers after graduation.
- Community and Public Health: Community and public health programs focus on the relationship between politics and science, addressing the connection between culture and health. In these programs, students examine how to design and implement health policy programs for the best interests of the public. Coursework focuses on communicable diseases, nutrition, and mental health public policies.
- Elementary Education: Students in elementary education programs explore how to work with children from different age groups depending on their specialty. Students work toward employment opportunities that allow them to shape and influence the lives of students. In their coursework, they learn how to use different instructional methods. They also learn how to adapt to different learning environments and understand students from different backgrounds and cultures.
Paying for College in Utah
Students thinking about enrolling in online colleges in Utah must remember that cost encompasses more than tuition. Books, online fees, and course materials should all be evaluated as well.
Utah features affordable tuition rates at both public two- and four-year higher learning institutions. Below are the average tuition costs in Utah compared to the U.S., not factoring in things like rent, books, and transportation.
Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2017-18
|Public Two Year||Public Four Year|
Source: College Board
Employment Outlook in Utah
Utah offers a variety of employment opportunities. Though the annual mean wage for all occupations in the state is slightly lower than the average for the U.S., Utah experiences lower unemployment rates, attracting professionals across many occupations. Numerous professions in Utah feature high salaries, the highest being dentists, who earn an annual mean wage of $257,800. Online colleges in Utah equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive after graduation, no matter what field they pursue.
Accreditation for Colleges in Utah
Students attending online colleges in Utah should make sure they enroll in a program at an accredited institution whether it boasts regional or national accreditation, though they should aim to attend a regionally accredited institution as they are considered more prestigious. 85% of all colleges in the U.S. boast regional accreditation. Schools with regional accreditation feature credits and degrees which are almost always accepted in transfer, tuition reimbursement eligibility, and instructor-led courses. These institutions typically charge higher tuition rates than nationally accredited institutions and offer fewer career-oriented programs. Regionally accredited programs also offer more liberal arts coursework than nationally accredited programs.
Nationally accredited institutions, though often less expensive than regionally accredited institutions, typically do not feature credits and degrees that transfer easily. Nationally accredited programs usually offer more practical, career-oriented majors. These programs often get excluded from tuition reimbursement plans.
Scholarships for Utah Online College Students
Students attending online colleges in Utah have many scholarship opportunities available to them. Numerous scholarships exist for students based on both merit and financial need. Additionally, many opportunities are available specifically to students who live and study in Utah.
Who Can Apply: Open to students in technical programs planning to work in the coal industry, the Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Technical School Scholarship awards funding to applicants from Utah, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, Wyoming, or Arizona.
Who Can Apply: This scholarship recognizes students who demonstrate a solid understanding of financial literacy concepts. Applicants must be pursuing post-secondary education and be high school graduates from an accredited Utah high school.
Who Can Apply: The Utah New Century Scholarship awards funding to students pursuing an associate degree from a Utah college or university. Students can use the scholarship at a four-year public college or university within the Utah System of Higher Education including Brigham Young University and Westminster College.
Who Can Apply: Open to graduating college-bound high school seniors in Utah, the ACLU of Utah Activist scholarship awards $1,000 each year to applicants with strong leadership abilities and a 3.0 minimum GPA.
Who Can Apply: The Alliance for Unity Scholarships award $2,000 of educational funding to high school seniors in Utah with a financial need. Applicants must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5.
Who Can Apply: Available to students in Utah who maintain enrollment at a Utah public university, the Centennial Scholarship for Early Graduation awards funding to applicants who enroll in a Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities accredited institution.
Who Can Apply: The Collester Scholarship Fund awards financial assistance to high school seniors who demonstrate significant financial need. Applicants must reside in Utah and enroll in a two- or four-year accredited higher learning institution, maintaining a 3.5 minimum GPA.
Who Can Apply: The Horatio Alger Association Utah Scholarship awards tuition assistance to students in Utah who demonstrate perseverance overcoming adversity. Applicants must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA.
Who Can Apply: Open to high school seniors residing in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, or Wyoming, the Daniels Fund Scholarship Program requires applicants to display an ambitious, hard-working nature and hold admission to an accredited four-year college or university.
Who Can Apply: Awarded to students diagnosed with epilepsy who plan to attend an accredited two- or four-year college in Utah, the Jack and Jill Lang Scholarship Fund requires applicants to submit verification of their diagnosis, a personal essay, high school transcripts, and a college acceptance letter.
Resources for Students in Utah
- Utahns Against Hunger: Utahns Against Hunger offers resources to college and university students on applying for assistance purchasing food. Students can access the fact sheet on the website to learn about the different rules for the program and various tips for living on a budget. Students can also use the resources to see if they qualify for food stamps.
- Academic Advising Center at the University of Utah: The Academic Advising Center at the University of Utah helps students achieve their goals by providing academic advising services. Advisers work to cultivate relationships to empower students.
- University of Utah Counseling Center: Students can access the counseling center at the University of Utah to take advantage of preventative, developmental, and therapeutic services and programs promoting emotional, intellectual, cultural, and social development.
- Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault: Open to students in Utah, the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault engages individuals and organizations to strengthen the effectiveness of sexual violence knowledge, prevention, and response.
- SafeU Website at the University of Utah: The SafeU website at the University of Utah provides students with resources to ensure their college experience is safe. Topics include sexual assault resources and bystander intervention training.
Online Schools in Utah
Dixie State University
Saint George, UT
- Graduation Rate: 63%
- Average Net Price: $12,271
Salt Lake City, UT
- Graduation Rate: 63%
- Average Net Price: $26,857
Southern Utah University
Cedar City, UT
- Graduation Rate: 36%
- Average Net Price: $13,452
Utah State University
- Graduation Rate: 50%
- Average Net Price: $12,494
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
- Graduation Rate: 59%
- Average Net Price: $14,573
Weber State University
- Graduation Rate: 45%
- Average Net Price: $11,596
Salt Lake City, UT
- Graduation Rate: 57%
- Average Net Price: $21,745
Western Governors University
Salt Lake City, UT
- Graduation Rate: 27%
- Average Net Price: $11,198