Once a month, we send our Prepare + Pay for College E-Newsletter out to almost 200,000 students, parents, counselors, and educators all over Utah. Recipients of the newsletter are encouraged to reply back to our newsletter if they have any college questions about preparing or paying. Here’s what came in this week along with answers from our preparing and paying for college experts, Katie Wornek and Jacob Newman. Looking to sign-up for our e-newsletter? Sign-up here.
Question from Student: “I have a question on which colleges in Utah work the best with a student utilizing the 9-11 GI Bill to pay for college and if you might have info on whom to contact at a few of the major colleges to get specific information on using the program etc. Thanks!”
Step Up Utah Prepare + Pay for College Expert Answer: “Hello! Thank you so much for reaching out to UHEAA! Also, thank you for your service to our country. We are happy to help you navigate this complex topic. Before anything else, I would strongly encourage you to make sure that you have filled out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is likely that you will be determined to be an independent student, which can often translate into more aid for you in addition to your GI bill benefits. If you need any assistance in terms of completing your FAFSA, feel free to reach out to us! We are happy to help.
I have done some research for you, and I have found the contact information for the veterans affairs offices at the various private and public universities and colleges in Utah. It’s difficult for us to say which school works best with the 9-11 GI bill, but I would encourage you to reach out to each school and ask specific questions related to your particular situation. They will also be able to tell you about any additional funding that you might be able to receive at the state level.
- University of Utah
- Utah State University
- Utah Valley University
- Dixie State University
- South Utah University
- Weber State University
- Snow College
- Salt Lake Community College
- Utah College of Applied Technology—They have many campuses. I would contact the campus closest to you to ask about veteran affairs.
- Brigham Young University
- Westminster College
- LDS Business College—I would suggest contacting financial aid for additional information.
- Western Governors University
There are also many private, for-profit universities in Utah. You can reach out to them as well and ask about veteran benefits. There is a list here under “Other Institutions.” Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns!”
Question from Student: “Hi! Thank you so much for offering to answer questions! My daughter who is a senior at Clearfield high has earned the AP Honors with distinction award. I am so proud of her, but with college around the corner – does that come with a scholarship? It’s great to tell everyone, but is it going to help pay? She is going to Utah State University in the fall, and we need a way to pay. Thanks so much! Also in a different accomplishment- she has participated in the Model European Union held at BYU for the last 3 years. She won first twice and second once. Again, I’m proud of her but is their any scholarships through this recognition available for her to use at Utah State? Thank you so much!!!”
Step Up Utah Prepare + Pay for College Expert Answer: “…Thank you for your questions. It sounds like you have a very bright student with a very promising future!
According to the College Board AP website, it looks like AP Scholar Awards do not come with a monetary prize. Luckily, getting a 3 or higher on AP tests means that your daughter is earning college credit. So, while scholarship money is not attached to her award, she is cutting costs by fulfilling those credit requirements early! We have more about that concept in this video.
I searched online and couldn’t find any scholarships BYU offers to Model EU students. You may want to contact them directly just to be sure. Here is their website – the contact information is at the bottom.
Has your daughter filed her Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)? If she completed the FAFSA and listed Utah State on the application as one of the colleges she was interested in attending, USU will issue a financial aid award letter summarizing the federal, state, and USU-specific aid she can qualify for. If you haven’t already, I would contact the financial aid office at USU to follow up about her financial aid award status.
It would also be wise to have your daughter check with her school counseling office about scholarships, and there are several good websites we can recommend to search for scholarships:
We also sometimes post information about scholarships on social media. You and your daughter are more than welcome to follow StepUp (@StepUpUtah) on Instagram or Twitter and our Outreach Officers (@StepUpJacob and @StepUpKatie) on Instagram or Twitter.”
Question from Student: “When can you start applying for scholarships?”
Step Up Utah Prepare + Pay for College Expert Answer: “Thank you for your question. While many scholarship applications are open to high school students (particularly 12th graders), some scholarships are available to younger students! It’s wise to check with your school counselor about scholarships, and there are several good websites we can recommend to search for scholarships:
We also sometimes post information about scholarships on social media. Feel free to follow StepUp (@StepUpUtah) and our Outreach Officers (@StepUpJacob and @StepUpKatie) on Instagram or Twitter.”
Question from Student: “College isn’t all about money, you know. You make it sound like we HAVE to get perfect grades and earn lots of money to have a worthwhile future.”
Step Up Utah Prepare + Pay for College Expert Answer: “Thank you for reaching out to us! You have a very valid point – we know that success and a happy life means something different to everyone. Our goal is never to put undue pressure on students – we only want to help you feel prepared to succeed in college and discover how to pay for it in a responsible way. Please reach out to us if you ever have questions about preparing for college – we would be happy to help.”
Question from Student: “Thanks But I Already Know Where I’m Going For College (BYU) 😁 Sorry But Thanks Anyway.”
Step Up Utah Prepare + Pay for College Expert Answer: “Congratulations on your college choice! Now that you know where you want to go to school, we can still help you figure out ways to prepare for success at BYU and find ways to help pay for school. Please let us know if you have any questions.”
Response from Student: “That sounds great. Thank you so much.”
Those were all the questions that came in from the newsletter this month. Remember – If you ever have any planning, preparing, or paying for college questions for us, we’re always happy to help. You can send us a direct email to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our contact page and send your question there. Have a wonderful day!
-Bryan from the Step Up to Higher Education Utah Team