New legislation passed during the 2021 session created a simplified, statewide, achievement-based scholarship—the Opportunity Scholarship. The Opportunity Scholarship will be available to students beginning with the high school graduating class of 2022.
These requirements were created after examining data from the last five years of Utah high school graduates to identify the top predictors of college success.
Students earn core credit by completing the following courses in each subject area, based on Utah State Board of Education (USBE) standards. This list is not exhaustive and not all courses are offered at every school. Students will need to work with their high school to find out which courses are offered and available at their school.
Awards will be determined based on available funding and the number of qualified applicants. Individual awards may be used toward the cost of tuition and fees, after other state aid is applied.
To simplify the scholarships available from the State of Utah and update the previous requirements, the Utah Legislature voted during the 2021 Legislative Session to replace the Regents’ Scholarship and the New Century Scholarship with the Opportunity Scholarship.
These changes will better align the scholarships administered by the Utah System of Higher Education. The three scholarships offered include the need-based Utah Promise Scholarship, the Technical College Scholarship, and the merit-based Opportunity Scholarship.
The new scholarship has simplified requirements, which are easier for students to follow and understand. Students who were previously on track for the Regents’ Scholarship or New Century Scholarship, with a few schedule changes, will still be on track for the new scholarship.
The new scholarship leverages the effectiveness of earning college credit while still in high school. For example, Concurrent Enrollment courses cost $5/credit, are transferable, and are widely available to Utah students.
The new scholarship changes allow for better collaboration between the Utah System of Higher Education and K-12 partners at the Utah State Board of Education to address existing equity gaps.
These scholarship changes also allow for updated achievement-based criteria that are based on data relevant to Utah high school students.
No, the Opportunity Scholarship is achievement-based and requires students to complete advanced coursework in high school. Completing a FAFSA is required as part of the application process, but federal aid is not considered when determining eligibility.
Additional details about the application process will be coming soon and will be posted to this webpage.
We anticipate that students will be able to apply in the fall of 2021.