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Utah's enrollment rate for college students is projected to grow by 241,000 students through 2026, and these students will have access to some of the nation's most affordable online tuition rates and supportive financial aid packages. Utah boasts several fast growing, stable industries, with room for expansion over the next several years. Read on for more information about the state's employment rates, and which college majors offer Utah graduates the most promising futures. Our guide also offers a list of valuable financial aid resources, plus links to external sites that help Utah professionals locate in-state resources and employment opportunities.
Job Outlook for Students With College Degrees in Utah
Students who earn college degrees from online schools in Utah, and wish to live and work in the state, may experience several employment benefits. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Utah's unemployment rate sits at only 3.2%, placing it in the top 26% of states for employment. Utah professionals earn an annual mean wage of $46,460 and, according to PayScale, those with bachelor's degrees from affordable online colleges in Utah make $57,993-$64,144 per year. In Utah, high school graduates with no college degree make 14% less per year than those with some college experience.
Earning a college degree from an accredited online college in Utah can help you secure a career in a fast-growing, lucrative field. Utah's fastest-growing fields, including marketing, computer science, and finance, require professionals to hold at least a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions. The same holds true for the jobs with the highest annual median salaries in the state. Prospective dentists, medical doctors, and lawyers must obtain multiple degrees and undergo advanced, specialized training.
Unemployment Rate, August 2018
Annual Mean Wage, May 2017
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Cost of Online Colleges in Utah
College degrees are expensive. According to CollegeBoard, in-state tuition expenses at two-year public schools in Utah cost slightly more than the national average. For public four-year colleges in Utah; however, the average tuition costs about $3,200 less than the national average.
The table below only considers tuition expenses, but college students encounter additional unavoidable expenditures for books, transportation, rent, and meals. Degree candidates taking online college courses in Utah can expect to pay about the same per-credit as they would in traditional on-campus programs. Online students may save money on transportation and meal expenses, as most online students work from home.
Since distance learners face little to no on-campus obligations, some schools waive their campus activity and facility fees. Learning materials for most online students exist in digital form, and are delivered through the school's online course platform. As a result, online degree seekers typically spend less money on textbooks and supplies. Some online colleges in Utah even offer laptop programs, through which distance students can obtain their own computers for little or no additional cost.
Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2018-19
|Public Two-Year||Public Four-Year|
Source: The College Board
In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition in Utah
Out-of-state students tend to pay significantly more in tuition than their in-state counterparts. According to CollegeBoard, out-of-state students at public U.S. colleges pay an average of $16,060 more per year in tuition than in-state students. This high cost is because public universities are state-subsidized, meaning state residents -- who theoretically pay taxes in that state -- have access to lower tuition rates.
Some of the best online colleges in Utah offer in-state tuition rates for all students. Traditionally, out-of-state students must establish residency in a state in order to qualify for in-state tuition, but specific residency requirements vary by state. In Utah, most public schools require out-of-state students to live in Utah for 12 continuous months before starting school. They must also be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and hold a Utah driver's license, voter registration, and vehicle registration.
Average Tuition and Fees, 2018-19
|Public Two-Year||Public Four-Year|
Source: The College Board
Financial Aid in Utah
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) represents one of the most important and easiest ways for prospective students to qualify for financial aid. Students must submit a FAFSA to determine their eligibility for federal aid, plus state and college-sponsored aid, in many situations. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) uses the FAFSA to calculate applicants' expected family contribution, or EFC, which is the amount of money you or your family can afford to put toward your college education. Your total income, assets, and family household information determine the EFC. The FAFSA determines students' eligibility for federal grants, which they do not have to repay, plus other forms of aid, such as loans and work-study programs.
Utah does not offer any in-state student loan forgiveness programs, but students may pursue federal loan forgiveness. Many specific industries and professions feature their own designated federal aid programs. For example, some repayment programs serve healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and mental health professionals. Teachers, government employees, and nonprofit employees also have access to dedicated programs. Students should consult with an experienced academic adviser to determine their best financial options.
State Grant Aid per Full-Time Equivalent Undergraduate Student, 2016-17
Source: The College Board
Scholarships and Grants for Utah College Students
New and returning students should explore every opportunity to acquire funding for their education. Scholarships and grants essentially function as "free money," which recipients do not repay. Scholarships come from corporations, governmental organizations, colleges and universities, and private individuals. In most cases, degree seekers must submit separate applications for these opportunities. The list below highlights some fruitful scholarships for students enrolling in online colleges in Utah.
Who Can Apply: This award is open to Utah high school students graduating in 2019 and later. Applicants should hold a 3.3 GPA or higher and a minimum 22 composite score on the ACT. Students must have taken classes in English, math, social science, lab-based science, and a foreign language during high school.
Who Can Apply: This one-time scholarship serves students residing in Arizona, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, North Dakota, Wyoming, or Utah. They must plan to pursue careers in the coal mining industry. Applicants must be in their first year at a two-year technical or trade school with an academic record in good standing. This fund distributes 16 awards in total, split evenly between $1,000 and $5,500 awards.
Amount: $1,000 or $5,500
Who Can Apply: The Utah Jumpstart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy and American First Credit Union sponsor a $1,000 scholarship for Utah high school students. Applicants must attend an accredited Utah school and enroll in a general financial literacy course. Applicants must plan to pursue a post-secondary education. Four scholarships are available.
Who Can Apply: In memory of Dr. Steven T. Kugle, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers offers this scholarship to college sophomores and juniors currently enrolled in a public college or university in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, or Wyoming. Applicants should hold a 3.0 GPA or higher and major in mechanical engineering.
Who Can Apply: Awarded by the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, the scholarship caters to students who want to raise awareness of important community issues. Previous recipients have been recognized for documentaries about racial and socioeconomic justice. They have advocated for sex education and youth rights, defended free speech and political expression in school newspapers, and fought against LBGTQ discrimination. Applicants must show their commitment to civil liberties through documented activism in their schools or communities.
Who Can Apply: This award serves undergraduate, graduate, full-time, and part-time students living in Utah who plan to be teachers. Applicants must attend a public or private college or university offering a state-approved teacher education program. The award covers full tuition and general fees for up to four years of full-time enrollment or until the student receives teaching licensure. Recipients must then contribute to a program that supports Utah's K-12 schools.
Amount: Full tuition and fees
Who Can Apply: This award assists students majoring in materials science, engineering, or a related field at the University of Utah. The scholarship memorializes Abraham Sosin, the first chair of the material science and engineering department at the university.
Who Can Apply: This award provides aid to single women enrolled at the University of Utah who are single working mothers, single mothers, single working women, or single non working women. Female undergraduate students receive preference, as do single candidates.
Who Can Apply: College of Engineering students enrolled at the University of Utah qualify for this award. Established by Susan M. Costa, this scholarship serves engineering students who strive to maintain a life-education balance. Applicants must answer two essay questions for evaluation.
Who Can Apply: This award caters to Utah high school students preparing for college at Brigham Young University. To participate in this competition, students must receive nomination from their high school based on academic performance and involvement in extracurricular activities. This competition awards five scholarships per year.
Amount: Full tuition for two semesters
Best Majors for Online Students in Utah
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most popular occupational areas in Utah include office and administrative support roles, sales positions, and various occupations in the food preparation and service industries. Utah's Department of Workforce Services projects that marketing specialists, computer information systems managers, and financial managers will see the fastest growth rates among all professions in the state through 2026. Occupations experiencing little to no growth by 2026 include farming and ranching, tax examiners, computer hardware engineers, and forest and conservation technicians. Students enrolled at accredited online colleges in Utah who wish to pursue careers in fast-growing fields might consider majoring in software development, web design, business, communications, or marketing.
MarketingWith an average annual growth rate of 4.7% in Utah, and a 10% projected national growth rate by 2026, marketing professionals have a bright future. Students who graduate with a marketing degree can work in virtually any professional field in Utah that develops, advertises, and sells products.
Computer ScienceStudents majoring in computer information systems in Utah seek out careers as information officers, technology officers, IT directors, and IT security managers. Jobs in this area grow on average each year by 4.4%. BLS projects that by 2026, jobs in the computer sciences and information field should grow by 12% -- almost twice the national average.
FinanceFinance graduates in Utah work as treasurers, credit managers, insurance managers, portfolio managers, and risk analysts. The state experiences a 3.5% annual growth rate, with 10,690 annual job openings in the business and financial operations field. Some of the fastest-growing positions for these professionals in Utah include management analysts, credit counselors, real estate appraisers, and loan officers. Most professionals need only a bachelor's degree for entry- to high-level positions.
Resources for Online College Students in Utah
Utah Department of Workforce Services: This state-sponsored network of 2,200 workforce services employees helps job seekers locate employment and public assistance programs across Utah. The site offers customized search engines to help recent graduates find appropriate jobs based on their skill set and the state's occupational demand. Individuals can also use a variety of training services through the department to earn additional credentials and gain market competition.
Work Ability Utah: Founded in 2000, this organization helps individuals with disabilities find employment in Utah. It helps increase communication between employers and prospective employees, and offers a special youth-in-transition program to help younger job seekers locate employment after graduation. The organization also helps clients find appropriate healthcare and health insurance in Utah.
StepUp Utah: StepUp provides a plethora of resources for high school and college students. The site offers special pages for those preparing for college, and includes information on scholarships, completing the FAFSA, transfer credit, advanced placement courses for high school students, and beneficial extracurricular activities.
Federal Student Aid and FAFSA Information: Utah does not offer any student loan forgiveness programs, but degree seekers in the state may locate federal programs to help with their loans. This site provides excellent resources on loan repayment plans to students of all backgrounds. Students can also learn about the FAFSA through this U.S. Department of Education site.
Marketing Career Resources in Utah: As one of the fastest-growing and most stable career paths in the state, students interested in marketing can use this site to locate employment and salary information about potential careers in Utah. The site offers useful information on popular positions and roles for marketing majors, and job application preparation for recent graduates.
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