Gov. Cox signs bills for $1 million to help adults finish college degrees
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Governor Spencer Cox held a ceremonial signing Monday for five education bills passed by the Utah legislature in its general session including House Bill 328, which provides $1 million for grants to help adult students who have some college credit but haven’t finished their degrees.
The grant program will be administered by the state Board of Higher Education. Commissioner David Woolstenhulme says they’re working now on a program to help students apply for the grants, and the funding will be available on the state’s new fiscal year July 1st.
“These individuals have to be 26 years of age and out of school for a while. Hopefully, it’s a meaningful enough award that we can get people back into school and get them finished up,” Commissioner Woolstenhulme told KSL Newsradio.
Western Governors University, which hosted a media briefing on the new program, has promised $1 million in scholarship money to help its students take advantage of the state program. Commissioner Woolstenhulme said he expects Utah’s public colleges and universities will also find ways to help students use the tuition assistance.
The program also requires students to be in a field of study where there is a “demonstrated industry need.” Rep. Lowry Snow (R-St. George) is the bill’s sponsor, and he says some Utah companies are bringing in qualified workers from other states because they haven’t been able to hire them in Utah.
“This gives us a chance to invest in the folks who are already here,” Snow said, “and to help them obtain their certificates, their degrees.”
The money from these bills that Cox signed has the potential to help many Utahn’s as there are about 370,000 people in Utah who have some college credit but haven’t completed their degrees.
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