FAQs

Parents understand best how each child is unique with different learning needs. You see when you’re educating a child, one-size doesn’t fit all. But what if one-size didn’t have to fit all? What if every child could access the school, or customized education, that worked best for them? 

Now they can! Utah Fits All is a universal school choice program signed into law during the 2023 legislative session! Families can use it to customize each child’s learning with a scholarship that travels to the education options of their choosing.

All K-12 students who are residents of Utah qualify to receive the full amount whether they currently attend public, private, homeschool, or are just starting kindergarten. Scholarships will be available for use beginning with the 2024-25 school year.

It’s for every child, in every zip-code, from every financial background, with every learning style.

Every child in Utah will be able find their fit in education!

Here is the bill signed into law on January 28, 2023: H.B. 215 Funding for Teacher Salaries + Optional Education Opportunities

Here is the law under Utah Code Part 4, Utah Fits All Scholarship Program.

The Program Manager, ACE Scholarships opened the online student application portal on February 28, 2024, and the portal will remain open until April 15, 2024. The first scholarships will be awarded for the 2024-2025 school year. Student scholarship award notifications will be sent no later than April 18, 2024.

Access the Application Portal HERE
Access the Parent Handbook HERE
Visit the ACE website HERE

The ACE UFA application process is simple and light touch. Family members will create an account with their email address and a password. ACE will verify the applicant’s identity, as well as their Utah residency with a phone number and date of birth. An applicant may be asked to upload a photo of a government issued photo ID if their information has recently changed. The applicant will then be asked to verify their household income by entering their household size and linking to either their employer payroll or bank through an effortless, secure process. The applicant may also opt to upload documentation manually. Finally, they will enter information for each student whom they wish to apply for, including the student’s name, date of birth and grade level. The last step is agreeing to the requirements of the program.

[Read the UFA Parent Handbook Here for more information]

It’s important to note that an applicant is not required to provide any income verification information. There are a couple of ways that any applicant may manually bypass income verification, with the understanding they will be placed in the last enrollment preference category. The first is on the initial screen for income validation. They will have the option to “continue” or “skip income verification.” If the latter is chosen, they will see a screen reminding them that the application will be placed in the last enrollment preference category. If they choose to proceed, they will bypass income verification.

The second chance to bypass is when they are prompted to enter their household size. Based on the calculation of a total household income of 555%, applicant is asked if their household income exceeds this figure. If they choose “yes,” they are attesting that their income places them in the last enrollment preference category, and no further income information is collected.

Additionally, it’s important to note that if ACE verifies a family is using government assistance, like SNAP, the applicant will not be required to upload any additional information.

ACE Scholarships was selected by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) to run and manage the program. They were selected through a standard business practice called an RFP (Request for Proposal) process governed by Utah’s procurement code. 

The contract between ACE Scholarships and the USBE cannot and does not impose any requirements on ACE as the program manager that are not essential to the basic administration of the program.

What will be required of the Program Manager?

The Program Manager must be a non-profit organization with 501(c(3) status in order to apply. They will be required to comply with all accountability measures and responsibilities as outlined in the law, including but not limited to, not being permitted to harvest data for the purpose of reproducing or distributing the data, protection and confidentiality of personal information, no involvement in guiding or directing any curriculum standards, forbidden from receiving donations from outside sources, and required to provide the most flexibility to providers and to students to accommodate their unique learning needs. The program manager must implement the program as the law dictates.

Every child who is awarded a scholarship will receive $8000 from funds appropriated by the Utah legislature. Unspent scholarship funds do not roll over into the next year and are rolled back into the overall scholarship fund. The exciting news; however, is that each year that scholarship amount will automatically increase based on what’s called the CPI (Consumer Price Index), or five-year rolling average inflationary factor as defined by the law.

Well, this is the exciting part! Finding your child’s fit will be easy. There are so many options. This is the most customizable education program out there!

Here is a list of some of the many ways the Utah Fits All Scholarship can be used. You can combine services and goods for a truly customized fit.

  • tuition and fees of a qualifying provider such as private schools or microschools
  • tutoring services
  • fees for after-school or summer education programs
  • textbooks, curriculum, or other instructional materials, including any supplemental materials or associated online instruction
  • educational software and applications
  • supplies or other equipment related to a scholarship student’s educational needs
  • computer hardware or other technological devices that are intended primarily for a scholarship student’s educational needs
  • educational services for students with disabilities from a licensed or accredited practitioner or provider, including occupational, behavioral, physical, audiology, or speech-language therapies
  • fees and instructional materials at a technical college
  • fees for qualifying exams or prep courses such as norm-referenced, AP, industry certification exams, college or university admission
  • contracted services that the program manager approves and that an LEA (public school) provides, including individual classes, after-school tutoring services, transportation, or fees or costs associated with participation in extracurricular activities
  • expenses related to extracurricular activities, field trips, educational supplements, and other educational experiences
  • ride fees or fares for a fee-for-service transportation provider to transport the scholarship student to and from a Qualifying Provider, not to exceed $750 in a given school year
  • any other expense for a good or service that a parent or scholarship student incurs in the education of the scholarship student, and the program manager approves, in accordance with statute.

Remember, all allowable expenses must be explicitly for the education of the scholarship recipient. Therefore, the scholarship includes accountability tools to protect taxpayers and ensure the scholarship is used for the intended purpose — To educate Utah students!

Apply for the Utah Fits All Scholarship here!

ACE Scholarships, the Program Manager, will provide an online portal for the parent of a scholarship student to access the scholarship student’s account, ensuring that scholarship funds in a scholarship account are readily available.

ACE Scholarships has established an application process for providers to become qualified. Qualifying Providers selected by the parent are paid directly within the online portal from your child’s account through a funds transfer to ensure accountability. Additionally, parents can have eligible expenses pre-approved and/or reimbursed for services or goods purchased from a provider who has not gone through the approval process to be added to the list of qualifying providers.

This means that scholarship dollars can be accessed to pay for eligible education expenses in three different ways:

  1. Select from the marketplace of approved qualifying providers
  2. Pre-approval of expenses prior to purchase 
  3. Requested reimbursement of expenses with receipts

Every K-12 child who is a resident of Utah qualifies to receive the full amount of the scholarship, whether they currently attend public, private, homeschool, or are just starting kindergarten, they are eligible to apply for the Utah Fits All Scholarship. 

Yes, we said every child! So, if you’re wondering whether you qualify because you’re already in a private school or you homeschool, the answer is yes, and yes!

Enrollment in any school option – whether public (district or charter), private, or even another public education scholarship program – in this current 2023-24 school year does not preclude you from applying for the Utah Fits All Scholarship when the portal opens February 28 to April 15, 2024. The scholarship awards are for the 2024-25 school year.

Additionally, you can certainly have your contingency plans in place for the 2024-25 school year in case your child is not awarded the Utah Fits All Scholarship. You can apply for other public education options that require an intent to return or an application. You can apply for the Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship or the Special Needs Opportunity Scholarship if your student qualifies. However, you will have to choose and can only be enrolled in one option at a time.

A student receiving a scholarship cannot simultaneously be enrolled in a public school, district or charter, where they are counted as a student by the public school for funding purposes. To receive a scholarship, you are agreeing to opt out your child from public school. You cannot be funded for both public school and a scholarship.

Does that mean you can’t use your scholarship to be a part-time student in a public school? There is still an avenue for scholarship students to use a proportional part of their scholarship at a public school. See our FAQ titled, Can my child use a proportional part of their scholarship to attend a public school part-time?

Students receiving either the Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship or the Special Needs Opportunity Scholarship cannot simultaneously receive the Utah Fits All Scholarship. Students may apply for all three of these scholarships but may only use one scholarship at a time.

While every Utah K-12 child is eligible, applicants qualifying as low-income and siblings of approved applicants are prioritized to ensure the funds go where most needed first. All remaining applicants in all other income ranges are then eligible. 

Here is the specific order of preference that the law requires ACE Scholarships to follow when awarding scholarships.

  1. An eligible student who used a scholarship account in the previous school year.
  2. An eligible student who did not use a scholarship account in the previous school year, with a family income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level ($62,400 for a family of four).
  3. An eligible student who is a sibling of an eligible student who uses a scholarship account at the time the sibling applies for a scholarship account or used a scholarship account in the school year immediately preceding the school year for which the sibling is applying for a scholarship account.
  4. An eligible student who did not use a scholarship account in the previous school year with a family income between 200% and 555% of the federal poverty level (Up to $173,160 for a family of four).
  5. All other students.

Income Level Chart
Add $5,380 for each person in household over 8 persons.
Source: UFAScholarship.com

According to the law, if the number of applications exceeds the available scholarship funds for a school year, ACE Scholarships shall select students on a random basis, following the guidelines for first issuing scholarships to applicants given preference as defined above.

Approximately 5,000 scholarships will be awarded to students in the 2024-2025 school year based on the initial legislative appropriation of $42 million dollars. 5,000 students is a very good start for a program in its inaugural year.

However, we believe demand will be higher than that and we plan to take that proof directly to our legislative representatives during the 2024 legislative session. Our goal is to have the legislature increase the appropriation amount to meet the demand of waitlisted families before the portal even opens, so that no child who wants to receive a Utah Fits All Scholarship will be turned away!

Should I be discouraged about applying?

Absolutely not! We fully expect the program funding to grow over time no matter what, including this year! Let’s ensure it grows fast enough to keep up with demand. The best way to make that happen is for you to apply for the scholarship today!

Yes! This is just another way the Utah Fits All Scholarship allows you to find the best fit for your child. For example, your child may choose to attend an eligible public school part-time and, according to the law, ACE Scholarships will prorate the amount of the award in proportion to the extent of the scholarship student’s partial enrollment in the LEA (charter or district school). This leaves the remainder of the scholarship to be used for expenses customized by you for your child’s education.

How does a public school become an “eligible school”? As per the law, to be eligible to receive scholarship funds on behalf of a scholarship student as an eligible school, a charter or district school must go through the same qualifying process as all other providers and enter into an agreement with ACE Scholarships. Once designated an “eligible school”, they can then offer courses or programs to scholarship students in accordance with the agreement. Some examples of contracted services that the program manager may approve, and an eligible school may provide, are services like individual classes, after-school tutoring services, transportation, or fees or costs associated with participation in extracurricular activities. 

ACE Scholarships is required by the law to make available to the public a list of approved eligible schools.

Rest assured that requirements were intentionally kept at a very minimum by the legislature. This program is about educational freedom for families and your ability to customize the education that fits your child best! 

In fact the law has a whole section on your parental rights! In part it says—regarding a parent’s right to academic accommodations, nothing in this chapter restricts or affects a parent’s interests and role in the care, custody, and control of the parent’s child, including the duty and right to nurture and direct the child’s upbringing and education.

Other protections have been placed within the law specifying that no state agency is granted additional authority over the following:

  • to regulate or control a private school, qualifying provider, or homeschool; students receiving education from a private school, qualifying provider, or homeschool or affect the freedom of choice of a homeschool student, including the curriculum, resources, developmental planning, or any other aspect of the homeschool student’s education;
  • or expands the regulatory authority of the state, a state office holder, or an LEA to impose any additional regulation of a qualifying provider beyond any regulation necessary to administer this part;
  • a qualifying provider has a right to maximum freedom from unlawful governmental control in providing for the educational needs of a scholarship student who attends or engages with the qualifying provider; and is not an agent of the state by virtue of the provider’s acceptance of payment from a scholarship account in accordance with this part;
  • a program manager may not require a qualifying provider to alter the qualifying provider’s creed, practices, admissions policies, hiring practices, or curricula in order to accept scholarship funds.

Maintaining Scholarship Eligibility is simple 

In order to maintain eligibility for the scholarship year after year, a portfolio must be completed and submitted annually to the Program Manager either by the student or the student’s parent. The content of the portfolio needs to include a description of the student’s educational opportunities and achievements under the program for the given year. The portfolio can be as simple or as extensive as you choose. ACE Scholarships may not disclose the content of a student’s portfolio except to the parent. An alternative to completing the portfolio is the completion of a qualifying optional assessment outlined in the law that is requested by the parent. 

Join the growing UEFA Community of 20,000+ families representing over 40,000 children who want the freedom and access to find the best fit for their child’s education with the help of a Utah Fits All Scholarship?

Join Us NOW

  • October 20, 2023 – Utah State Board of Education selected Alliance for Choice in Education (ACE) as the Program Manager for the Utah Fits All Scholarship
  • November 3, 2023 – USBE approved the contract with ACE, making them the official Program Manager effective immediately
  • January 16 – March 1, 2024 — Utah Legislative Session
  • February 28 – April 15, 2024 – Application Portal Opens:
    ACE will accept applications beginning February 28, 2024, at 8:00 am, and the portal will remain open through April 15, 2024
  • The first Utah Fits All Scholarships will be awarded for the 2024-2025 school year.
  • No Later than April 18 — Scholarship award notification

Click here to watch our PowerPoint presentation that provides an informational overview of the scholarship program basics. Share the link with your network of family and friends to educate them about this $8,000 scholarship!

How will Utah Education Fits All (UEFA) help our family?

Utah Education Fits All (UEFA) is a non-profit organization committed to ensuring every Utah child has access to the right options and the freedom to choose the education that fits them best.

We serve as your advocate and watchdog for the Utah Fits All Scholarship Program. We are your eyes and ears providing you with the most up-to-date information you need in order to apply for the scholarship. We will answer your questions about the program and assist you in navigating the process. 

We

  • Advocate 
  • Inform
  • Support
  • Empower

What will UEFA be doing to help?

Getting Utah Families Ready and Informed!

If you want a scholarship, we want to help! We don’t want any child to be turned away from finding their fit in education! Families who join our community fuel the movement to demonstrate demand for the Utah Fits All Scholarship.

We want every Utah family to have the freedom and access to choose the best fit for their child’s education. The Utah Fits All Scholarship allows them to do so! We are conducting a targeted awareness campaign around the state to all families with eligible K-12 students to make sure they know this scholarship is for every family and every child. Through our outreach, we are assembling a growing community of families who intend to apply for the Utah Fits All Scholarship for their children. We are doing this for three very important reasons:

Support & Inform Families

By joining us, we will help you become knowledgeable about the opportunity this scholarship presents for your children, keep you up-to-date on important information and developments about the scholarship program as they unfold, and send you to the application portal with a direct link and instructions for completing the application.

Demonstrate Demand

Through our growing community of families, we will demonstrate the volume of demand for the Utah Fits All Scholarship to our elected representatives for the purpose of seeking increased funding, including before the first scholarships are awarded for the 2024-25 school year.

Empower Parents

As a parent who signs up and joins the movement, we will keep you fully informed about anything related to the Utah Fits All Scholarship so that you have the tools and information you need to help advocate for the scholarship program’s growth and protection.

1. Support & Inform Families

By joining us, we will help you become knowledgeable about the opportunity this scholarship presents for your children, keep you up-to-date on important information and developments about the scholarship program as they unfold, and send you to the application portal with a direct link and instructions for completing the application.

2. Demonstrate Demand

Through our growing community of families, we will demonstrate the volume of demand for the Utah Fits All Scholarship to our elected representatives for the purpose of seeking increased funding, including before the first scholarships are awarded for the 2024-25 school year.

3. Empower Parents

As a parent who signs up and joins the movement, we will keep you fully informed about anything related to the Utah Fits All Scholarship so that you have the tools and information you need to help advocate for the scholarship program’s growth and protection.

We are so grateful to our legislature for passing this universal school choice program. We are hoping for an increased appropriation to the Utah Fits All Scholarship in year one of the program that is well above the current $42 million. The only way to make this happen is if we are able to demonstrate the demand ahead of time. That is the purpose of our pre-apply campaign! During the 2024 legislative session, we will show lawmakers with confidence that not only does the total number of families and children seeking the scholarship FAR exceed available funding, but also we have tens of thousands of children in every corner of the state hoping to receive the Utah Fits All Scholarship. By demonstrating the absolute need for an increase in program funding, and by helping you communicate your desire for scholarships with your elected representatives, our legislature will have a clear understanding that a larger appropriation is imperative in order to meet the high demand for the Utah Fits All Scholarship. We don’t want any child turned away from finding their fit in education!

(No personal or identifiable information or data collected by UEFA is shared with any persons or third parties.)