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Last Upated: May 30, 2023
Beginning in the 2024-2025 school year, Utah families will have an innovative new option to consider when it comes to K-12 learning. The Utah Fits All Scholarship Program will launch, offering $8,000 in education funding to about 5,000 families choosing to enroll in a nonpublic school option (private schooling or homeschooling).
The Utah Fits All Scholarship Program gives participating families education savings accounts, online accounts where their child’s education funding is deposited. Families can then use this funding to customize their child’s learning. The goal of the program is to empower families to access the best learning fit for their child, whether that’s a public school, private school, online school, home education, or some combination of these.
The new program makes Utah history: It is the state’s first education savings account and will make private school choice an option to many students who otherwise could not afford it. Any family in Utah who will not be enrolling full-time in public school can apply for this scholarship, regardless of income or neighborhood. While any student not enrolling full-time in public school can apply, low-income applicants will receive first priority.
(Note that a student cannot participate in the Utah Fits All Scholarship while receiving funds from one of Utah’s other scholarship programs — the Carson Smith Scholarship Program or the Special Needs Opportunity Scholarship Program — which serve students with special needs.)
Families who receive a scholarship can use their funds for a wide array of approved learning expenses. Besides private school tuition, these include tutoring services, special needs services and therapies, and individual classes and activities at public schools. They also include dual enrollment at a technical college, educational software…. even field trips and fees for after-school or summer education programs!
Children can receive a partial scholarship through the Utah Fits All Scholarship if they enroll part-time at their public school. So, a student may be able to take specific courses at their neighborhood school and still receive about $4,000 of the scholarship for other non-public learning expenses.
By offering this funding, the scholarship program makes education “a la carte” much easier for families, allowing them to customize for their child’s interests and needs.
Homeschool students are welcome to apply for the Utah Fits All Scholarship if they wish. If they do participate, they’ll simply need to follow the program’s rules and requirements. For instance, all scholarship participants, including homeschoolers, must submit an annual portfolio highlighting their educational work that school year. Or, in lieu of submitting a portfolio, parents can request that their student take an optional approved assessment. No requirements will change for homeschool families around Utah who do not choose to participate in the scholarship!
When the Utah Fits All Scholarship Program launches, there will be an initial limit of 5,312 students. If enrollment in the new program exceeds the funding budgeted for it, low-income families will receive first priority. Then, middle-income families will be prioritized, and so on until the limit is met. In this way, the program specifically aims to bring educational opportunities to those with less financial means.
Unlike with education savings accounts in some states, the Utah Fits All Scholarship funds will not roll over at the end of the school year. In other words, funds aren’t “saved” in the account for the next year. Utah’s program also requires that families reapply each year to remain active in it.
Besides these rules, the scholarship program is very flexible. As already shared, families can choose from many approved expenses, from private school fees to public school activities to curriculum used at home.The Utah Fits All Scholarship empowers families to use their education funding for private school tuition, homeschooling, tutoring, activities at public school, and so much more. Check out @SchoolChoiceWk's explainer on the new program. Click To Tweet
A program manager is not yet chosen and scholarships aren’t available until the 2024-2025 school year. So, families cannot apply yet for the Utah Fits All Scholarship Program. But applications will be available starting March 1, 2024. You can “pre-apply” today to receive information once the application portal opens. Once the new program launches, Utah will join the ranks of more than 10 states with active education savings account programs!