The foundation of Utah State University occurred after the federal government passed a new act of legislature that called for the formation of at least one institution of higher learning in each state. Its founder hoped to create an agricultural school like those found overseas in parts of Europe, but it didn't take long before the university realized that it needed to add more programs to draw in more students. It also gained more students through the addition of an extension program. Designed to help students complete degrees from anywhere in the state, the extension program eventually became its online program. The online program now welcomes students living in states and cities across the country and even some international students.
Utah State University also added three new satellite campuses in the state itself. These campuses typically offer night and weekend classes to better accommodate the schedules of students working and those who have other commitments. A large number of students also take a combination of online courses and classes on one of the satellite campuses before transferring to the main campus. Washington Monthly placed USU at number 23 on its list of top American colleges, and U.S. News and World Report ranked the school at 170 nationally.
Utah State University Accreditation Details
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities grants accreditation to schools that meet several different requirements. The college must have a strong mission, resources for all its students, plans for the future, the ability to change and improve for students and the ability to adapt in the future. Utah State University received accreditation from the NWCCU for its general college programs. Unlike other organizations that only check back every 10 years, the NCCU performs an annual review and granted accreditation every year to USU for several straight years in a row. This lets students know that they will have all their needs met and that they can look forward to seeing the university change and adapt as the needs of its students change.
USU also has accreditation from a number of other national and regional organizations for some of the specific programs available on campus or online. It has accreditation for its engineering, music, teaching and business programs. Students curious about whether the program they enroll in has accreditation can do a simple search with the United States Department of Education. They can also gain more information when they contact the school or the head of the department.
Utah State University Application Requirements
Applying to Utah State University requires that students submit five pieces of information. They must fill out the online application, which asks them about the courses they took in high school, current address, biographical details and grade point average. The online application process allows students to log back in and check their status. They can see whether the school is still looking at the application or if they received acceptance. Students must also pay an application fee of $40 that increases to $55 if they pay the fee late. USU also requires that students submit their test scores from the SAT or ACT, high school transcript or score on the GED and transcripts from any colleges they attended.
Though Utah State is a public university, it still requires that students meet the bare minimum requirements for acceptance. Anyone enrolling must score an 820 on the SAT minus the writing section or a 17 on the ACT. GED students must show that they received a score of 656 or higher on that examination. Traditional students will need to show that they had a grade point average of 2.5 or higher on a regular 4.0 scale. USU also offers a fast track option for current high school seniors who submit an application and pay the associated fee earlier in the year.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Utah State University does not charge less for online classes like some schools do. The university bases its tuition rates on whether students come from in or out of state and whether they live in the state or another state while taking classes. Tuition rates start at $175 per credit hour for Utah residents who take classes on campus or online and live in the state. Those residents living out of state who take classes online will see their rates rising to $299 per credit hour. Nonresidents of Utah pay $299 per credit hour if they live out of state and $522 per credit hour if they live in state. Tuition is also higher for international students, and these costs do not include technology and similar fees or room and board on campus.
Students can receive financial aid from USU. The university asks that all students complete the Free Application for Student Financial Aid. As long as they list USU on that application, a copy will go to the school. If the student qualifies for any scholarships, the university will send them a packet that tells them how to apply and the deadlines for those scholarships. Students can also use government loans and grants and/or private student loans.
BS in Family Life Studies Online
Utah State University is one of the only schools that offers a Bachelor of Science in Family Studies and one of the only to offer this program entirely online. Designed for students who want to work with families, graduates of the program work as therapists, social workers, family planning organizations and the foster care system. Though the program requires that students complete 120 credit hours of work, many students will complete even more credits due to the work they do in their minors. Students must take four prerequisite courses that teach them more about family dynamics, career planning and the developmental stages.
Students also take core courses on social policy, research, math and science before taking three courses from each of the concentrations in the program. Those concentrations include family relations, consumer sciences and human development. All family studies students must also complete a final project during their last year, which is similar to a capstone project or thesis. They choose a topic with the help of an advisor and complete an in-depth study on that topic. Utah State University introduced this requirement to give students more hands on experience.