Educating students from Utah for Utah

The following piece originally appeared on the Alumni Connection website

The For Utah Scholarship program, which is entering its second year at the U, invests in the success of Utah students by supporting their dreams of graduating with a college degree. The program ensures that four years of tuition and fees are covered by grant and scholarship assistance for Utah students who are eligible for the Pell Grant with a minimum high school GPA of 3.2.

The program fosters access, completion, diversity, and inclusion at the U. “The For Utah Scholarship has been a critical piece of our recruiting efforts,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dan Reed. “In fact, in academic year 2020–21, this scholarship was instrumental in enrolling our largest and most diverse class ever.”

Hundreds of students benefit from the scholarship program each year. Here are a few of their stories:

Emily Knuteson will be entering her sophomore year at the U. She maintained a 3.92 GPA at Skyridge High School in Lehi, where she played volleyball for a few years. She was just about to get her dorm room assignment at Southern Utah University when she learned she would receive the For Utah Scholarship, so she changed her plans and committed to the U. This meant she could stay closer to home and keep her current job.

The scholarship freed her from leaning on her parents for financial help and made it possible to put school above work to get through. “This scholarship has allowed me to put my schooling and education first and really focus on the future I want to have,” says Emily.

Her time at the U, so far, has also helped her to branch out, meet new people, apply for positions within the school, take exciting classes, and focus on her. “Because of the For Utah scholarship, I got to take classes that allowed me to see what I was really interested in,” Emily says. “I’m planning to get a degree in political science with an emphasis in international affairs. I love to travel, so doing something overseas would be a dream come true. Thanks to this scholarship, that dream is becoming more and more of a reality.”

George Conde is a sophomore from West Valley City who hopes to one day go to medical school. While at Granger High School, Conde was valedictorian, co-captain of his debate team, and a Sterling Scholar.

Conde’s parents are immigrants from Peru. His mother is a factory worker who was laid off in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and his father is a painter. For Conde, the choice between schools was no choice at all because of the For Utah Scholarship.

“The other places gave me close to full rides, but they weren’t the same,” he says. ”The U was the best option by far. I was enthralled by the opportunity this would open up for so many people. I was extremely grateful and just happy to be given this chance to pursue an education that for many people is a questionable topic because of financial issues.”

Help exceptional students like George and Emily achieve a University of Utah degree by contributing to the For Utah Scholarship. Learn more at giving.utah.edu/forutah.