R604, New Century Scholarship

R604-1. Purpose: The New Century Scholarship encourages students to accelerate their education by earning an Associate’s degree in high school from an institution within the Utah System of Higher Education.

R604-2. References

2.1. Utah Code 53B-8-105 (2010).

2.2. Policy and Procedures R609, Regents’ Scholarship.

R604-3. Definitions

3.1. “Applicant”: is a student who is in their last term in high school and on track to complete the high school graduation requirements of a public school established by the Utah State Board of Education and the student’s school district or charter school or a private high school in the state that is accredited by a regional accrediting body approved by the Utah State Board of Regents, or a home-school student.

3.2 . “Associate’s Degree”: An Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or Associate of Applied Science degree received from, or verified by, a regionally accredited institution within the Utah System of Higher Education. If the institution does not offer the above listed degrees, equivalent academic requirements will suffice under subsection 3.5.2. of this policy.

3.3. “Awards”: New Century Scholarship funds.

3.4. “Board”: The Utah State Board of Regents.

3.5. “Completes the requirements for an associate degree”: Means that an applicant completes either of the following:

3.5.1. all the required courses for an associate degree from an institution within the Utah System of Higher Education that offers Associate’s degrees; and applies for the Associate’s degree from the institution; or

3.5.2. all the required courses for an equivalency to the associate degree from a higher education institution within the Utah System of Higher Education that offers Baccalaureate degrees but does not offer Associate’s degrees.

3.6 “Excusable Neglect” means a failure to take proper steps at the proper time, not in consequence of carelessness, inattention, or willful disregard in the processing of an appeal, but in consequence of some unexpected or unavoidable hindrance or accident.

3.7 “Good Cause” means the student’s failure to meet a scholarship application process requirement was due to circumstances beyond the student’s control or circumstances that are compelling and reasonable.

3.8. “High school”: a public high school established by the Utah State Board of Education or private high school within the boundaries of the State of Utah. If a private high school, it shall be accredited by a regional accrediting body approved by the Board.

3.9. “High school graduation date”: the day on which the recipient’s class graduates from high school. For home-schooled student refer to subsection 4.2.1 of this policy.

3.10. “Home-schooled”: refers to a student who has not graduated from a Utah high school and received a high school grade point average (GPA).

3.11. “Math and science curriculum”: the rigorous math and science curriculum developed and approved by the Board which, if completed, qualifies a high school student for an award. Curriculum requirements can be found at the website of the Utah System of Higher Education.

3.12. “New Century Scholarship”: a renewable scholarship to be awarded to applicants who complete the eligibility requirements of section 4 of this policy.

3.13. “Reasonable progress”: enrolling and completing at least fifteen credit hours during Fall and Spring semesters and earning a 3.3 GPA or higher each semester. If applicable, students attending summer must enroll full-time according to their institution and or program policy regarding full-time status.

3.14. “Recipient”: an applicant who receives an award under the requirements set forth in this policy.

3.15. “Renewal Documents”: a college transcript demonstrating that the recipient has met the required semester GPA and a detailed schedule providing proof of enrollment in fifteen credit hours for the semester which the recipient is seeking award payment.

3.16. “Scholarship Appeals Committee”: means the committee designated by Commissioner of Higher Education to review appeals of Regents’ Scholarship award decisions and take final agency action regarding awards.

3.17. “Scholarship Staff” means the group assigned to review Regents’ Scholarship applications and make initial decisions awarding the scholarships.

3.18. “Substantial Compliance” means the applicant, in good faith, complied with the substantial or essential scholarship application requirements and has demonstrated likely eligibility but failed to comply exactly with the application specifics.

3.19. “The Utah System of Higher Education– USHE”: the Utah System of Higher Education, which includes the University of Utah, Utah State University, Weber State University, Southern Utah University, Snow College, Dixie State University, Utah Valley University, and Salt Lake Community College.

R604-4. Recipient Requirements: This section enumerates the requirements to qualify as a recipient. Subsection 4.1. creates the general academic requirements. Subsections 4.2 and 4.3 clarify the exceptions and requirements specific for home-schooled students and students whose graduation date occurs in 2010 or before. Subsections 4.4. through 4.7. establish other generally applicable requirements.

4.1 General Academic Requirements: Unless an exception applies, to qualify as a recipient a student shall:

4.1.1. complete the requirements for an associate degree or the math and science curriculum at a regionally accredited institution within the Utah State System of Higher Education with at least a 3.0 grade point average by applicant’s high school graduation date; and

4.1.2. complete the high school graduation requirements of a Utah high school with at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA.

4.2. Utah Home-schooled Students: For Utah home-schooled applicants the following exceptions and requirements apply:

4.2.1. High School Graduation Date for Home-schooled Applicants: Completes High School in 2011 and After: If a home-schooled applicant would have completed high school in 2011 or after, the high school graduation date (under subsection is June 15 of the year the applicant would have completed high school;

4.2.2. ACT Composite Score Requirement: A composite ACT score of 26 or higher is required in place of the high school GPA (under subsection 4.1.2).

4.3. Mandatory Fall Term Enrollment: A recipient shall enroll in and successfully complete fifteen credit hours at an eligible institution by Fall semester immediately following the student’s high school graduation date or receive an approved deferral or leave of absence from the Board under subsection 8.7 of this policy. Documentation shall include the recipient’s name, the semester the recipient will attend, the name of the institution they are attending and the number of credits for which the recipient is enrolled.

4.4. Citizenship Requirement: A recipient shall certify under penalty of law they are a citizen of the United States or a non-citizen who is eligible to receive federal student aid.

4.5. No Criminal Record Requirement: A recipient shall not have a criminal record, with the exception of a misdemeanor traffic citation.

4.6. Regents’ Scholarship: A recipient shall not receive both an award and the Regents’ Scholarship established in Utah Code §53B-8-108 and administered in R609.

R604-5 Application Procedures: This section establishes the basic application procedures for an award.

5.1. Application Contact: Qualifying students shall apply for the award through the Board.

5.2 General Procedure: An application for an award shall contain the following:

5.2.1. Application Form: the official online application will become available on the New Century website each November prior to the February 1 deadline.

5.2.2. College Transcript: an official college transcript showing college courses, Advanced Placement and transfer work an applicant has completed to meet the requirements for the associate degree and verification of the date the award was earned; and

5.2.3. High School Transcript: an official high school transcript with high school graduation dated posted (if applicable).

5.2.4. ACT Score: a copy of the student’s verified ACT score (if applicable).

5.3. Registrar Verification: If an applicant is enrolled at an institution which does not offer an associate degree or an institution that will not award the associate degree until the academic on-campus residency requirement has been met, the registrar must verify that the applicant has completed the equivalent academic requirements under 4.1.1.

5.4. Application Deadline: Applicants shall meet the following deadlines:

5.4.1. Application Submission: Applicants must submit the official scholarship application no later than February 1 of the year of their high school graduation date or the year they would have graduated from high school.

5.4.2. Support Documentation Submission: All necessary support documentation shall be submitted on or before September 1 following the student’s high school graduation date. In some cases exceptions may be made as advanced placement and transfer work verification may be delayed at an institutional level and no fault of the applicant. Scholarship awards may be denied if all documentation is not complete and submitted by the specified deadlines. And if any documentation demonstrates that the applicant did not satisfactorily fulfill all coursework and GPA requirements, or if any information, including the attestation of criminal record and citizenship status, proves to be falsified.

5.4.3. Priority Deadline: A priority deadline may be established each year. Applicants who meet the priority deadline may be given first priority of consideration for awards.

5.5. Incomplete Documentation: Applications or other submissions that have missing information or missing documents are considered incomplete, will not be considered, and may result in failure to meet a deadline.

R604-6 Awards: This section establishes the total value of an award, the power of the Board to change that value, and the eligible institutions where the award may be used.

6.1. Value of the Award: The award is up to the amount provided by the law and determined each Spring by the Board based on legislative funding and number of applicants. The total value may change in accordance with subsection 6.2.

6.2. The Board May Decrease Award: If the appropriation from the Utah Legislature for the scholarship is insufficient to cover the costs associated with the scholarship, the Board may reduce or limit the award.

6.3. Eligible Institutions: An award may be used at either

6.3.1. Public Institution: a four-year institution within the Utah System of Higher Education that offers Baccalaureate programs; or

6.3.2. Private Nonprofit Institution: a private not-for-profit higher education four-year institution in the state of Utah accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities that offers Baccalaureate programs.

6.4. Enrollment at Multiple Institutions: The award may only be used at the institution from which the student is earning a Baccalaureate degree.

6.5. Student Transfer: The award may be transferred to a different eligible institution upon the request of the recipient.

6.6. Financial Aid and other Scholarships: With the exception of the Regents’ Scholarship (as detailed in subsection 4.6 of this policy) tuition waivers, financial aid, or other scholarships will not affect a recipient’s total award amount.

R604-7 Disbursement of Award: This section details the disbursement of the award amounts.

7.1. Disbursement Schedule of Award: The award shall be disbursed semester-by-semester over the shortest of the following time periods:

7.1.1. Four semesters of enrollment in fifteen credit hours;

7.1.2. sixty credit hours; or

7.1.3. until the recipient meets the requirements for a baccalaureate degree.

7.2. Enrollment Documentation: The recipient shall submit to the Scholarship staff a detailed copy of a class schedule verifying that the recipient is enrolled in fifteen credit hours or more at an eligible institution. Documentation must include the student’s name, the semester the recipient will attend, institution that they are attending and the number of credits the recipient is enrolled.

7.3. Award Payable to Institution: The award will be made payable to the institution. The institution shall pay over to the recipient any excess award funds not required for tuition payments. Award funds should be used for higher education expenses including tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for instruction.

7.4. Dropped Hours after Award: If a recipient drops credit hours after having received the award which results in enrollment below fifteen credit hours the scholarship will be revoked (see 8.1) unless the student needs fewer than fifteen credit hours for completion of a degree.

R604-8. Continuing Eligibility: This section establishes the expectations of recipients to renew their award.

8.1 Reasonable Progress Toward Degree Completion: The Board may cancel a recipient’s scholarship if the student fails to:

8.1.1. Maintain 3.3 GPA: to maintain a 3.3 GPA or higher for each semester for which he or she has received awards; or

8.1.2. Reasonable Progress: to make reasonable progress (fifteen credit hours) toward the completion of a Baccalaureate degree and submit the documentation by the deadline as described in subsection 8.2. A recipient must apply and receive an approved deferral or leave of absence under subsection 8.7 if he or she will not enroll in fifteen credit hours continuously for Fall and Spring semesters.

8.2. Duty of Student to Report Reasonable Progress: Each semester, the recipient must submit to the Board a copy of his or her grades to verify that he or she has met the required grade point average and has completed a minimum of fifteen credit hours each semester. Recipients will not be paid for the coming semester until the requested documentation has been received. These documents must be submitted by established deadlines.

8.3. Probation: If a recipient earns less than a 3.3 GPA in any single semester, the recipient must earn a 3.3 GPA or better the following semester to maintain eligibility for the scholarship. If the recipient again at any time earns less than a 3.3 GPA the scholarship will be revoked.

8.4. Final Semester: A recipient will not be required to enroll in fifteen credit hours if the recipient can complete the degree program with fewer credits.

8.5. No Awards after Five Years: The Board will not make an award to a recipient for an academic term that begins more than five years after the recipient’s high school graduation date.

8.6. No Guarantee of Degree Completion: An award does not guarantee that the recipient will complete his or her Baccalaureate program within the recipient’s scholarship eligibility period.

8.7. Deferral or Leave of Absence:

8.7.1. A recipient shall apply to the Board for a deferral of award or a leave of absence if they do not continuously enroll in fifteen credit hours.

8.7.2. A deferral or leave of absence will not extend the time limits of the scholarship under subsection 8.5.

8.7.3. Deferrals or leaves of absence may be granted, at the discretion of the Board, for military service, humanitarian/religious service, documented medical reasons, and other exigent reasons.

R604-9 Appeals

9.1. Scholarship Determinations: Submission of a scholarship application does not guarantee a scholarship award. The Scholarship Staff shall review individual scholarship applications and make the awards determination. Awards are based on available funding, applicant pool, and applicants’ completion of scholarship criteria by the specified deadline.

9.2. Appeals: An applicant has the right to appeal the Scholarship Staff’s decision by filing an appeal with the Scholarship Appeals Committee subject to the following conditions:

9.2.1. The appeal must be in writing and submitted through the U.S. Mail. Appeals must be hand delivered to the office or postmarked within 30 days of the date on which the scholarship notification was issued.

9.2.2. In the appeal, the applicant must provide his or her full name, mailing address, the high school he or she last attended, a statement of the reason for the appeal, and all information or evidence that supports the appeal. The failure of an applicant to provide the information in this subsection shall not preclude the acceptance of an appeal.

9.2.3. An appeal filed before the applicant receives official notification from the Scholarship Staff regarding their application shall not be considered.

9.2.4. If an applicant failed to file his or her appeal on time, the Scholarship Appeals Committee shall notify the applicant and give him or her an opportunity to show that the appeal was timely or that it was delayed for excusable neglect. If it is found that the appeal was not timely and the delay was without excusable neglect, the Scholarship Appeals Committee shall not have jurisdiction to consider the merits.

9.2.5. The Scholarship Appeals Committee may consider a late appeal on its merits if it determines the appeal was delayed because of excusable neglect.

9.2.6. The Scholarship Appeals Committee shall review the appeal to determine if the award decision was made in error, or if the applicant demonstrated substantial compliance with the scholarship application requirements but failed to meet one or more requirements for good cause.

9.2.7. If the Scholarship Appeals Committee determines the applicant has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the initial decision was made in error, it shall either reverse the initial decision or remand it back to the Scholarship Staff for further review in accordance with the Appeals Committee’s instructions.

9.2.8. If the Scholarship Appeals Committee determines the applicant has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she demonstrated substantial compliance with the application process requirements and good cause for failing to meet one or more of the requirements, the Appeals Committee shall grant the applicant a reasonable period of time to complete the remaining requirements and to resubmit the completed application to the Scholarship Staff for a redetermination.

9.2.9. The Scholarship Appeals Committee’s decision shall be in writing and contain its findings of facts, reasoning and conclusions of law and notice of the right to judicial review.

9.2.10. The Scholarship Appeals Committee’s decision represents the final agency action. An applicant who disagrees with the Scholarship Appeal Committee’s Decision may seek judicial review in accordance with Utah Code Ann. 63G-4-402.

Adopted June 4, 1999, amended July 12, 1999, April 20, 2001, May 31, 2002, September 15, 2006. Amended and approved by the Board of
Regents October 16, 2009, April 1, 2010, March 25, 2011, March 29, 2013, and April 1, 2016.