There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. And while the media tends to focus on just a handful of schools, we at College Coach encourage students to think outside the box during their college selection process and explore a wide range of colleges. As such, we are highlighting a new college each week in our School Spotlight series. Check out the college below, along with the other posts in our series, and you may just stumble upon your dream school!
School Spotlight: Utah Valley University
Utah Valley University was originally founded as a vocational school in the 1940s, then morphed into a technical college, then a community college, and eventually received its current name in 2008. Despite these changes, UVU has kept its commitment to inclusion and practicality as a public, open-admission institution that focuses on ”teaching all students and providing them with real-world experiences.” Thirty-eight percent of students are first-generation college-goers, and UVU is regularly recognized for affordability and return on investment. In-state residents will pay just under $6,000 per year for tuition and fees (out-of-state students are looking at about $17,000 per year), and the university is ranked number one in Utah for alumni earnings.
UVU is among the largest universities in the country, with over 40,000 undergraduates. With this immense size comes an immense array of academic opportunities: 208 degree options (11 at the master’s level, 91 at the bachelor’s level, 65 at the associate’s level, plus 44 certificate programs). Pretty much any major you can think of is available, but here’s a sampling of some of the unique programs offered: digital audio, commercial music, respiratory therapy, aviation management, emergency services administration, national security studies, and personal financial planning. There’s a degree that will lead you to becoming a professional pilot, and more than one that will lead to fluency in American Sign Language. Even within commonly offered majors, there are unique emphases to choose from: within the dance major, students can focus on ballroom dance; information systems students can emphasize business intelligence, healthcare, or security; and those studying political science can specialize in Indian affairs administration, peace and justice studies, and public law. Associate’s degrees cover some of the same areas as the bachelor’s programs, as well as even more vocationally focused options like automotive technology, mechatronics, culinary arts, and wildland fire management.
For those who are concerned about class size or hoping for an especially rigorous academic experience, the UVU Honors Program is open to associate- and bachelor-seeking students. In addition to smaller classes, the program promises experiential learning, a special first-year experience, cultural events, and outdoor excursions. Admission is selective and based on high school grades, test scores, writing samples, and other academic and extracurricular accomplishments.
Outside of academics, students will find plenty of opportunities to stay active. UVU offers nearly 200 student clubs, so whether you’re into Aikido, chess, Black student life, or cybersecurity, you’ll find your niche. The Center for Social Impact provides robust opportunities for volunteerism, philanthropy, and civic engagement, while The Review serves as the independent, award-winning student-run publication. The campus features a gym offering the latest health class trends like spinning and yoga, a bowling alley and gaming center, and a climbing wall. The Outdoor Adventure Center offers guided tours of Utah’s beautiful natural landscape, in addition to equipment rentals including kayaks, mountain bikes, and tents. There are also numerous intramural and recreational sports to choose from, in addition to UVU’s 14 NCAA Division I teams, as well as an active rodeo team that provides scholarship and other financial supports to riders.
Though UVU doesn’t offer on-campus housing, it has partnerships with 15 surrounding apartment complexes that focus on UVU students. Each complex has a Residential Community Leader, who serves the same type of role as a traditional resident assistant. Despite its technical status as a commuter campus, UVU has an impressive and innovative array of student support services. In addition to the standard academic and mental health guidance you’ll now find at most campuses, UVU has a team of health coaches who host workshops and series on everything from plant-based diets and tobacco cessation to stress management and maintaining healthy relationships. Students can visit stress reduction rooms, relax in massage chairs, take healthy cooking classes, and visit the financial resource center where they are taught how to make smart decisions about money in college—and after.
Visit the website to learn more about applying to Utah Valley University as well as paying for your education at UVU.
Image Credit: Top, Courtesy of Utah Valley University