Next steps for awarded and waitlisted students

Eligible students who applied for a scholarship will receive an email notification letting them know if they  will receive a scholarship award or are on the waitlist. Awards are given first to students whose family income is at or below the 200% Federal Poverty Level (FPL).  Next, are students whose family's income is between 200-555% FPL. Last, it is open to all Utah K-12 students regardless of family income. If there are not enough funds to award eligible students in an entire category, a randomized lottery system is used to select students to be awarded, this is done at the family application level, not an individual student level. 

 

ACE Scholarships follows Utah Code for the Utah Fits All program by keeping applicant siblings together, which means families are awarded for eligible students in their household. Please note: it is possible a family with multiple eligible students may only receive a limited number of scholarships if they are the last awarded family in the lottery.

 

NOW WHAT?

ALL FAMILIES: Whether you are waitlisted or have received a scholarship, every family is welcome to participate in our program by

  • registering for the UFA newsletters
  • joining UFA Lunch & Learn sessions
  • attending UFA Webinars
  • reading the UFA Family Handbook or help center articles.

These resources are meant to help families navigate their unique UFA educational choices or to prepare for next year's application.

 

WAITLISTED FAMILIES:

  • Follow through with the educational plans you made for your student if they did not receive a UFA scholarship; every family should have an alternative plan in place. 
  • If you are at the top of the waitlist, there is a possibility that you may be notified later that your student will be given a UFA scholarship this coming school year. Consider what that may look like if you choose to accept it after the school year has begun. 
  • Stay involved! The UFA scholarship program will continue to grow each year and more students will be awarded scholarships.
  • Be prepared to re-apply for next year. Applications will open earlier and since you already have an account, the process will be easier.

AWARDED STUDENTS: 

  • Start planning for your scholarship student's education for the 2024-25 school year.
  • Encourage eligible schools and providers to become a UFA qualifying provider. 
  • UFA scholarship accounts will be funded no later than August 7, 2024. Approved expenses made after July 1st qualify for reimbursement.
  • If you haven't already signed up for the UFA newsletter, be sure to do that today, so you can stay up-to-date on the information you need. 
  • Be sure to register for UFA Lunch & Learn sessions and various webinars. We want to keep you informed and answer your questions.
  • If you decide that you do not want to participate in the UFA scholarship program, you may withdraw your scholarship student at any time by visiting the ACE Access Portal. This is not a reversable or appealable decision. 

Applying for more than one public scholarship? Only one scholarship can be used in a year.

You can apply for the Carson Smith Opportunity Scholarship (previously named the Special Needs Opportunity Scholarship), or be already in the Carson Smith Legacy Scholarship Program (this program is no longer accepting applications), and still apply for a Utah Fits All scholarship. It is important to note that once you accept any of these scholarships you can only have one for the given school year. If you accept a scholarship from Carson Smith Opportunity Program you will no longer be able to accept the UFA Scholarship. You cannot switch scholarships in the middle of the year.  

Can I move backward on the waitlist?

It is possible to move backward on the waitlist.

For example: An application in the Tier 1 preference group can move back in the waitlist if an application ahead of them has multiple children on their application, one of which was initially determined ineligible. If the parent appeals, and student is determined eligible, they are then placed together with the other students from the same household or family application. Therefore, that reinstated student would take a waitlist number alongside their siblings, and potentially ahead of other Tier 1 families. 

When will Utah Fits All Scholarship award notifications be sent for the 2024-25 year?

Families will be notified if their student is awarded a scholarship, or placed on the waitlist by 12pm MT on Friday, May 3, 2024. 

Why was my student's application withdrawn on my behalf?

Typically, student applications are withdrawn at the request of an applicant. However, during the application window, we understand that some families created a duplicate application for a student. This means that a parent applicant had more than one applications for a single student. 

In an effort to reduce confusion, and prevent applicants from receiving multiple notifications regarding the same student, duplicate applications have been withdrawn. In order to do so, we evaluate whether two student records contain the same first and last name, and date of birth. If this is the case, one record is withdrawn. 

ACE defaults to keeping the student application that is furthest along in the process. For example, if student record A is eligible, and student record B is processing, student record B (processing) is withdrawn, and student record A (eligible) is maintained.

If any of your student applications have been withdrawn, you will be able to view which student record has been withdrawn by logging into ACE Access and checking the status on your student tile. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the Utah Fits All Customer Support Team at support@ufascholarship.com.

Can I edit my application after it's been submitted?

At this time, applicants are unable to edit their application once it has been submitted. However, there are a few ways to get us the information you need corrected. 

1. If you are requesting to edit information added about participation in Carson Smith Scholarship Program or the Special Needs Opportunity Scholarship in the upcoming school year: This data is collected for information purposes only and does not impact a student's eligibility in the program. This is an opportunity to remind families that they may apply for all scholarships, but may only accept one. 

2. If you are requesting to edit information added about participation in public or charter school in the upcoming school year: This data is collected for information purposes only and does not impact a student's eligibility in the program. ACE Scholarships would like to gather information about how families may plan to spend their funds in the coming year. It's also an opportunity to remind families that their student may be enrolled in a public district or charter school at the time of application but, if awarded, must withdraw their student prior to the start of the 2024-25 school year. 

3. If you are requesting to edit student information like name, grade, DOB or social security number:  please submit a Parent Inquiry Form.  Please be sure to include all information in the required fields, and indicate the specific student for which the form is related to. In addition, please include the requested correction in the free form text box, and be sure to upload a copy of the student's birth certificate before submitting the form. 

4. If you are requesting to edit your student's birth certificate: Please submit a Birth Certificate Affidavit Form. We realize that you may be submitting this form due to reasons OTHER THAN missing the document, for instance you may uploaded the incorrect child's birth certificate. However, this is the best method of getting us the required information. You may select "other legal document" and upload the correct birth certificate. 

5. If you are requesting to edit income information, including documentation: Please submit an Income Verification Form. Be sure to complete all required fields, including uploading any and all income documentation you wish to include. You do NOT need to submit a separate form for each income earner, all documents may be uploaded into one form.  

How can I submit income for a dual income household?

If you are submitting income documentation for a dual income household, you will be asked whether you filed individually, or jointly. 

If you and your partner filed individually, there will be separate screens for uploading each income earner's income documents. Income documents for two separate people do not need to be submitted on the same screen. 

If you are filing jointly, and you have a form 1040, that will be sufficient, and you will not be prompted to upload any additional documentation, unless you indicate that you have received Disability or Social Security Benefits. In this case, you will be prompted to upload your awards letter. 

 

Dual Income filed Individ.png         Dual income partner screen.png

How can I remove a student from my application?

If you have added a student in error, either as a duplicate, or after realizing that the student would not be eligible to participate in the program due to age or Utah residency, you may withdraw the student record. 

Assuming you have completed and submitted your application, you can do this by logging back into the application.  At the Home Page under the heading that reads, "Welcome Back [name]" you will see boxes with the names of each of your students.  Click on the "Manage Scholarship" option for the record you'd like to remove.  You will then be presented with two options, "View Student Details" and "Withdraw Application".  Choose "Withdraw Application".  You will then be taken to a form where you will be asked to choose between several options to explain the reason you are withdrawing the application.  If the entry was a duplicate, choose the "Other" option, enter "Duplicate student application" in the text box, then press "Withdraw".  That will remove the student record from consideration without impacting your other students.   Attached is a document showing screenshots of this process.

 

 

WIthdraw Application Flow Other.png 

How can I add another student to my application?

If you have submitted your application, but forgot to add a student, you can do so by completing the Parent Inquiry Form found in our help center. Please complete all required fields, indicating "yes" when asked if this form was related to a specific student.  In the free form text box, please also include your student's age and social security number (this is an optional entry). Please be sure to upload a copy of the student's birth certificate. 

If you do not have a copy of the student's birth certificate, you will need to complete the Birth Certificate Affidavit Form and upload one of the acceptable alternative documents. 

If my child is granted the scholarship, and there are no changes in the family income the following year, will they have a higher chance of receiving the scholarship for the following school year?

Returning scholarship students are awarded the UFA scholarship in the first enrollment preference the following year. Income information will not be requested of returning students. However, we will ask an awarded scholarship student to renew their participation in the program. This means that the parent will need to confirm their desired participation for the upcoming school year and only re-validate Utah residency and their students K-12 eligibility.  Families will also need to demonstrate they have met the reporting requirement by completing a portfolio or having an approved examination administered to their scholarship student. 

If parents are divorced do both parents need to apply for their child(ren)?

Only one application per student may be submitted. Divorced parents will ideally agree on who is applying on behalf of the student. If there is more than one application for a single student, it will be flagged in our system and the parent who claims the student on their taxes will be the one permitted to apply for that student.

If approved for a UFA scholarship, will my taxes be affected the following year?

No, the UFA Program offers $8,000 of tax-free scholarship funds to eligible students.  

When do UFA applications open for students? Is there an application window?

Yes, there is an application window for eligible students. Applications for students opened on February 28, 2024, and will close April 22, 2024.  You can find the application here.

How do I know if my child is eligible?

Students are eligible for the UFA Scholarship if they are:

  1. a K-12 student who is eligible to participate in a public school (to be eligible for kindergarten, a student must be at least five years old and no more than 18 years old on or before September 1 of the year in which admission is sought. With regard to special education, a student must not be older than 21 on July 1. Students who have graduated from high school or another secondary program are ineligible.
  2. a resident of the state of Utah, including a child of a military service member, as defined in Section 53B-8-102.
  3. a student not receiving the Carson Smith Opportunity Scholarship at the same time as the UFA scholarship.
  4. not enrolled in an LEA or in the Statewide Online Education Program (SOEP) upon receiving the scholarship.
  5. not suspended or disqualified from the UFA program, and who completes, to maintain eligibility, the assessment or portfolio requirement.

 

Is my student eligible if I am active duty military and currently out of state?

Yes. Students of active-duty military are eligible to participate. The family may be stationed in Utah but live elsewhere. Additionally, Utah may be their state of legal residence and they are stationed elsewhere. Relevant documentation will be collected at the time of application. 

What information should I have ready when I apply for the UFA program?

A parent who is applying on behalf of an eligible student should be prepared with the following documentation:

  • Government issued photo ID (driver’s license or passport)*
  • Tax documentation (Form 1040, Form W2 or Form 1099)**
  • Each student’s birth certificate***
  • Details about each student applicant: date of birth, grade level, social security number and SSID (if applicable)

This information is used to verify your student’s eligibility for the program, as well as to place your student(s) into the appropriate enrollment preference category, determined by household income. All information is securely encrypted and isn’t shared with any other government agencies or entities.

*If you do not have a driver’s license or passport, you may instead upload a photo ID, residency permit card or temporary visa.  

**If you do not have one of these tax forms, a Disability Award Letter and Social Security Letter are acceptable. 

***If you do not have a birth certificate for your student(s), you will be required to file an affidavit attesting the reason you do not have the document, and upload an alternative approved document to verify the student(s) age(s). This supporting documentation may include one of the following:               

  • a religious, hospital, or physician certificate showing the student's date of birth
  • an entry in a family religious text;
  • an adoption record;
  • previously verified school records;
  • previously verified immunization records;
  • documentation from a social service provider; or
  • other legal documentation, including from a consulate, that reflects the student's biological age

Who sees my application information?

Application information will only be viewed by parties necessary to complete the application verification and approval process, which includes the ACE Scholarships Utah Fits All customer support team. 

Am I required to provide income information?

No. Income verification is not required to determine eligibility for the UFA Program.

It's important to note that an applicant is not required to provide any income verification information, with the understanding they will be placed in the last enrollment preference category. There are a couple of ways that any applicant may manually bypass income verification. First, after verifying the applicant's identity, the system will also be able to verify whether an applicant is receiving other forms of government assistance, such as SNAP or TANF. If this is the case, the applicant will bypass income verification and the eligible students will be placed in the first enrollment preference category once the application is submitted. 

The applicant will also have the option to manually “continue” or “skip income verification” on the initial screen for income validation. If the applicant chooses to skip, 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 the applicant is prompted to enter their household size. Based on the calculation of a total household income of 555%, the applicant will be asked if their household income exceeds this figure. If the applicant chooses “yes,” they are attesting that their income places them in the last enrollment preference category, and no further income information is collected. 
UFA_Graphics_Federal-Poverty-Level (1).png

 

What does the application process look like?

The UFA application process is simple and light touch. You can read more about it in the Family Handbook in Chapter 2.  

The applicant (typically a parent or guardian) will create an account with their email address and a password. 

 

ACE Scholarships verifies identity and residency using a software called Plaid. In order to do this, we require the applicant’s phone number and DOB. The application will send a 5 digit code to the phone number entered. If we are able to verify identity, a screen will appear with the applicant's name, address, phone number and social security number (redacted except for a few digits)

Verification may fail if the applicant has recently moved or changed contact information like name or phone number. If we are unable to verify identity, we will ask that the applicant enter their full name, address, social security number and upload a government issued photo ID.  

 

The application then collects information on the scholarship student(s). There are later screens to add additional student applications. The applicant will be asked for the (first) student’s full name, grade level and social security number (optional).  

 

Applicants will be prompted to enter information on whether they plan to apply for or participate in either the Carson Smith Scholarship Program, or the Special Needs Opportunity Scholarship, and will be reminded that while they are encouraged to apply for all, they may only use one during the school year.

The next question collects information on whether the applicant plans to use a public district or charter school to educate their student in the upcoming school year. The applicant is reminded that full time enrollment in the public school while using the scholarship will render the scholarship student ineligible for the program. These questions assist in communicating program requirements and guidelines only, and will not impact an eligibility determination.

 

The application will then require an upload of the student’s birth certificate. If you do not have a birth certificate available for your student, you must file an attestation explaining why you do not have the birth certificate, file an affidavit and upload alternate acceptable documentation to verify the student’s age.  

Once the birth certificate is uploaded, the applicant will be asked if they would like to add another student to the application, and the process repeats for each student.  

 

In order to place the household application in an enrollment preference category, ACE Scholarships collects income information (based on Adjusted Gross Income from 2023).  

An applicant has the option to bypass income verification by clicking the link to “skip income verification.” In this scenario, all student applications tied to this account will be placed in the last enrollment preference category.  

The applicant has a second opportunity to bypass income verification. When the applicant is prompted to enter their household size, the applicant will be asked if their household income exceeds 555% of the federal poverty level for their specific household size. If the applicant chooses “yes,” they are attesting that their income places them in the last enrollment preference category, and no further income information is collected. 

First, an applicant will have the option to select whether they file taxes as a single income, or they file taxes jointly.  

If filing single: an applicant will be asked to disclose the number of people in their household, as well as the number of income earners in their household. The applicant may opt to connect to their employer to verify their income, or they may manually upload tax documentation. A Form1040 is ideal; a Form W2 and Form 1099 are also acceptable. The applicant will then be asked if they earn non-taxable income, such as disability or social security, and will be asked to upload their award letter. The applicant then has opportunity to review all data entered in the application 

If filing jointly, an applicant will be asked to disclose the number of people in their household, as well as the number of income earners in their household. The applicant is then prompted to upload their 2023 1040 document. If the applicant does not have a Form 1040, they may upload Form W2 and/or Form 1099 for each income earner. They will then be asked if they earn non-taxable income, such as disability or social security, have the opportunity to review all data entered in the application. 

The applicant may have multiple income earners who file individually. In this scenario, each individual will verify income by connecting to their employer or they may manually upload tax documentation. They will then be asked if they earn non-taxable income, such as disability or social security, have the opportunity to review all data entered in the application. 

Finally, the applicant will attest to 5 statements and submit the application 

Here is a link to the application, if you are ready to begin.

 

  1.  

How will I prove residency if I have recently moved to Utah?

There is no limitation on how long an applicant must be a resident of Utah. You may apply with a valid Utah state driver's license, passport, alternative photo ID, residency permit card or temporary visa.  

What can I upload if I do not have a 2023 Form 1040?

In the instance where you do not have a Form 1040 from 2023, you may upload a Form W2, Form 1099, a Disability Award Letter or a Social Security Award Letter. You may also link directly to your employer's payroll provider. 

Will the UFA application process be different if my child requires special education and has an IEP or Service Plan?

No, we do not require any additional information during the application period for a student who requires special education. If an awarded scholarship student with disabilities wishes to use scholarship funds to pay for educational services or therapies related to your student’s diagnosis, you may be asked to produce your student’s IEP, Service Plan or a written note from your student’s treating physician to validate the expense. The disability indicated must be education related and affect the acquisition of knowledge or skills.

These would include services provided by a licensed or accredited practitioner or provider including occupational therapy, behavioral therapy, physical therapy, audiology or speech-language therapy. 

When will I find out if I’ve been approved for the UFA program?

We apologize for the inconvenience. The volume of applications has caused a delay in notifications reaching the respective applicants. Our team will reach out to you should we require additional information to process your application.

How do you select awarded UFA students?

The law gives an order preference to eligible students for scholarship awards (Utah Code 53F-6-402). Students will be awarded only after the application window has closed. For the 2024-2025 school year, there are three levels of preference:
  1. Students whose family income is at the 200% Federal Poverty Level or less will be awarded scholarships first.
  2. Next, are students whose family’s income is between 200-555%.
  3. Last, it is open to all Utah K-12 students regardless of family income.

UFA_Graphics_Federal-Poverty-Level (1).png

If my child receives a scholarship, does their sibling automatically receive one the next year?

No, their sibling doesn't automatically receive a UFA scholarship the subsequent year, but the sibling, if eligible, will be placed in the third enrollment preference category to receive a UFA scholarship. The first enrollment preference will go to students who used the scholarship the year before, and the second will go to students who did not use the scholarship, and whose family income is 200% or below federal poverty level. 


How are UFA applications placed in an order of preference?

The law gives an order preference to eligible students for scholarship awards (Utah Code 53F-6-402). Students will be awarded only after the application window has closed. For the 2024-2025 school year, there are three levels of preference:
  1. Students whose family income is at the 200% Federal Poverty Level or less will be awarded scholarships first.
  2. Next, are students whose family’s income is between 200-555%.
  3. Last, it is open to all Utah K-12 students regardless of family income.

UFA_Graphics_Federal-Poverty-Level (1).png

*Please note that Adjusted Gross Income is used to determine enrollment preference category.

What does it mean if I am placed on the waitlist?

While we are thrilled to have so many interested families apply, we are only able to provide scholarships to approximately 10,000 students in the 2024-25 school year. If you are not selected for a scholarship award this year, you will be notified of your place on our waitlist. Families may log into the ACE Access portal at any time during the year to review their student’s place. If an awarded scholarship student chooses to leave the program at any time during the year, ACE Scholarships will contact the first person in line on the waitlist if remaining funds permit. If you are placed on the waitlist, we encourage you to save all receipts from education related purchases beginning July 1, 2024. If you are awarded, you may submit these receipts for reimbursement if the expenses fall into one of the approved categories.  

Will I remain on the UFA program waitlist for the 2025-26 school year, or will I need to reapply?

The data that you entered into your application for the 2024-25 school year will need to be reviewed in order for you to apply for the following year.

If you wish to provide income information, that will need to be re-submitted. Remember that income information is not required; however, not validating income will place the eligible student in the last enrollment preference category, and may impact their changes of being awarded a scholarship.

Once the updated application information has been resubmitted, a new lottery will be conducted that includes all students who did not receive a scholarship from the previous year.  All waitlisted students will be issued a new lottery number.

Will an awarded student need to reapply annually?

No, we will not be requiring returning families to reapply. First enrollment preference will be given to returning scholarship students. However, we will ask an awarded scholarship student to renew their participation in the program. This means that the parent will need to confirm their desired participation for the upcoming school year and only re-validate Utah residency and their students k-12 eligibility. Income information will not be requested of returning students. Families will also need to demonstrate they have met the reporting requirement by completing a portfolio or having an approved examination administered to their scholarship student.  

Please note that an assessment or examination is not required if the portfolio requirement is met.

How much is the UFA award amount, and is it the same amount for every child?

All scholarship students will be entitled to $8,000 per school year. Funds do not roll over into the following school year, so families are encouraged to budget accordingly in order to maximize use of their student’s funds.