Utah Scholars logo

Launched in the 2006-07 school year, the Utah Scholars Initiative is a college-readiness program that helps students understand why college is important and what they can do in junior high and high school to prepare, pay and succeed in higher education and the workforce. When the program first began, presenters visited 8th grade classrooms to share a presentation that encouraged students to prepare for their future by taking the Utah Scholars curriculum throughout all four years of high school.

The curriculum included taking 4 years of math, 4 years of English, 3.5 years of social science, 3 years of lab-based science, and 2 years of a world language. This curriculum was later adopted by the Regents’ Scholarship in 2008.


1. Feedback and Our New Checklists

Over the past couple of years, the program received feedback from students, parents, and counselors. These groups wanted a program that would help them make sure they were doing the right things to prepare students for college. Taking that into consideration, the Utah Scholars Initiative changed the requirements and incorporated a college-ready checklist into the program.


2. Updates To Our Program Requirements

The updated program no longer requires the Utah Scholars curriculum (4 years of math, 4 years of English, 3.5 years of social science, 3 years of lab-based science, and 2 years of a world language) and is designed to motivate students to complete specific tasks from 8th-12th grade. These tasks, called “Next Steps,” include things like taking a campus tour, applying for scholarships and filing the FAFSA. To qualify for the program recognition certificate and medallion, students must complete 20 tasks from these checklists and maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA throughout high school.


3. Utah Scholars is now StepUp Utah Scholars

Along with changes to the requirements, there was also a name change. Starting this school year, the program will now be called StepUp Utah Scholars to further align the initiative with the outreach efforts of the broader StepUp to Higher Education campaign.


4. Application and Deadline

The application for the StepUp Utah Scholars recognition for the certificate and medallion opens November 1, 2017 and closes February 1, 2018. Any student that would like to be considered for the Recognition needs to submit an application by the deadline. Please encourage your students to apply.


Questions? Would you like a StepUp Utah Scholars presentation at your school?

If you have questions or would like to bring StepUp Utah Scholars to your school, please contact Erika Norton at enorton@ushe.edu.


Erika NortonErika Norton and I am the StepUp Utah Scholars Program Manager. StepUp Utah Scholars is an awesome program that helps students be more prepared for college. Our goal is to help you succeed and achieve your dreams. I started out volunteering with the program and that led to a full-time position three and a half years ago. I’m from Salt Lake City and went to Skyline High School. After high school, I went to to Utah State University and graduated with my bachelor’s degree in anthropology, which is the study of culture and people. I am a huge Aggie and loved going to college in Logan.