Student Success: Include, Achieve, Engage

Our mission

Utah Valley University is an integrated university and community college that educates every student for success in work and life through excellence in engaged teaching, services, and scholarship.

Promoting Togetherness

At UVU’s core is the belief that everyone has great potential and deserves the transforming benefits of high-quality education. We are committed to providing an accessible, flexible, and affordable educational experience that empowers students today and for generations to come.

Support during the COVID-19 pandemic

Signage: Stay Safe, Stay Home

While the COVID-19 pandemic introduced new challenges, we continued to thrive and champion student success through exceptional care from our campus community, state, donors, and friends.

Woman in pink recieving vaccine shot from medical professional

Free COVID-19 tests and vaccine clinic

We offered free COVID-19 testing options for students, faculty, and staff beginning in November 2020. Along with the Utah Department of Health, our trained employees also provided local community members with free COVID-19 tests. Those experiencing symptoms were encouraged to visit the drive-thru testing location, while asymptomatic testing took place in the Sorensen Student Center Ballroom.

We opened a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the spring in conjunction with the Utah Department of Health. The clinic gives students, faculty, staff, and immediate family members over the age of 18 the opportunity to receive free vaccines.

Mental health services

To support students and community members during the public health crisis, the UVU Community Mental Health Clinic extended online services and free teletherapy sessions. The clinic also helps students in the Master of Marriage and Family Therapy program gain real-world experience and receive feedback from faculty supervisors.

Extending Exceptional Care

Student support during COVID-19

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CARES Act disbursements:

$14,363,675 allocated to 15,100 students with financial needs

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CARE Initiative Student Emergency Funds:

$32,692 allocated to 93 students

Student Emergency Fund

In August 2019, our CARE (Coordinating Access to Resources and Education) Task Force created a one-time emergency scholarship fund to support students facing basic needs insecurity. This fund is completely financed by donations and allows students to continue their education despite emergency financial crises. Due to unexpected financial burdens related to COVID-19, the application rate increased more than 480% from fall 2019 to spring 2020.

Student and instuctor using diagnosic technology

Fall fee waiver and employee bonus

To alleviate the financial impact on students during COVID-19, we reduced student fees by 25% for the fall 2020 semester. Since 2015-16, we have had the lowest student fees of all four-year institutions in Utah.

We gave all part-time and full-time employees a one-time recognition bonus in April to acknowledge our campus community’s dedicated efforts.

Learn & Work in Utah

During the fall 2020 semester, we offered 21 tuition-free “Learn & Work in Utah” career development courses to help thousands of displaced, unemployed, or furloughed workers reskill and upskill during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was made possible through the efforts of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Utah System of Higher Education and subsidized through federal CARES Act funding. Twelve other Utah institutions participated in the career development initiative. Course topics included cybersecurity, business data analytics, Salesforce administration, digital information management, ethics and the practice of law, and building inspection technology.

Fostering the Spirit of Belonging

At UVU, we believe everyone deserves access to resources and opportunities that will help them work toward their personal, academic, and professional goals. To support our campus community this year, we offered specialized programs, celebrated our students’ unique identities, and provided financial support for underrepresented communities.

Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Week and Black History Month

 'The Sun Does Shine' bookcoverAs part of our 27th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Week, UVU hosted Anthony Ray Hinton, author of The New York Times bestseller The Sun Does Shine, for a virtual keynote speech. Hinton, who was wrongfully convicted of two murders in 1985 and spent 28 years on death row, spoke on the deadly effects of racism and the need for collective action so that justice can be better served and hope restored. Hundreds of attendees participated in the virtual event.

The African Diaspora Initiative and Black Student Union hosted several events during Black History Month, including a keynote address by Olympic athlete and UVU alumnus Akwasi Frimpong, as well as book club discussions of Felwine Sarr’s Afrotopia and Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race, a mental health and wellness session, and a panel about celebrating Black lives. UVU also presented a two-part digital art installation that provided insight into both painful and joyful experiences of Black community members.

Supporting All Students

Lavender Graduation

UVU’s third annual Lavender Graduation recognized our LGBTQIA+ graduates from the Class of 2021. To honor our graduates, UVU decorated the Orem Campus with hundreds of rainbow flags and lit up the UCCU Center at night with Pride colors. The ceremony involved speeches from university leaders and students and congratulatory messages from LGBTQIA+ celebrities, including Alok Vaid-Menon, Anthony Rapp, Mary Lambert, and Shangela.

Lavender Graduation

DEI and Women’s Leadership Certificate programs

In summer 2020, our Executive Education team introduced the UVU Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate Program in partnership with the Office of Inclusion and Diversity. The inaugural cohort consisted of 30 mid- and senior-level leaders in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) from companies such as Intermountain Healthcare, Sorenson Communications, Skullcandy, Costa Vida, Thumbtack, and NSF International. The program had eight half-day sessions and featured 21 recognized DEI leadership experts. Participants developed a personal strategic DEI action plan.

In partnership with the Women’s Success Center, Executive Education led a second cohort through its Women’s Leadership Certificate Program (WLCP). The program’s six full-day sessions featured 17 internationally recognized women’s leadership experts, who provided an engaged-learning experience focused on transforming successful women into outstanding leaders.

I learned valuable insights [from the WLCP] into how women can work across organizations to leverage their unique strengths and complement each other to create innovative solutions.

Jenea Rothwell
Board Member
The Women’s Success Center and The Younique Foundation

Improving Digital Accessibility

We are focused on preparing our students to succeed in a digitally transforming world. During COVID-19, the importance of using accessible technology and adapting to the continually changing educational landscape was highlighted. Our digital transformation initiatives are driven by data and centered on supporting students from their first year to graduation and beyond.

A better user experience

As part of our commitment to innovating and improving digital processes, the Division of Digital Transformation (Dx) announced new services and changes to increase efficiency. Students now have more opportunities to communicate virtually through updated email addresses, which provide greater access to Microsoft tools such as Teams and Outlook. These applications offer better account security through improved multi-factor authentication and password management tools.

Faculty and staff now have the capability to attend meetings and conduct business remotely through Microsoft Teams. In addition, Dx rolled out new webpage functionalities that allow faculty to better showcase their achievements and personalize their profiles. Dx and University Marketing and Communications also released an updated homepage design and intranet system (myUVU) that will improve communication across the university.

Student reads braille

Student learns from remote professor

United effort

To improve digital accessibility, we expanded technology options for students with disabilities. Last year, we purchased a Braille embosser that allows us to produce higher quality materials more quickly for students who need Braille resources or tactical graphics. The Accessible Technology Center worked with Procurement and Contract Services, academic departments, the Office of Technology and Learning, and Web Development Services to provide textbooks in accessible formats and greater assistive technology options.

UVU Online

This year, UVU announced six new fully online degrees: a bachelor’s in applied communication, a bachelor’s in digital marketing, a master’s in engineering and technology management, a bachelor’s in public relations and strategic communication, a bachelor’s in psychology, and a bachelor’s in respiratory therapy. These additions take the total online offerings to 40 certificate and degree programs. During the fall 2020 semester, 23,975 students took at least one online class.

Removing Barriers

Our goal is to help students climb the ladder of success — not a mountain of debt. We offer a variety of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid opportunities to help remove obstacles to getting an education and allow students to achieve their dreams, regardless of their current financial situation. Universities and policymakers across the country are taking note of our dual-mission approach, which provides a successful case study of how to provide an exceptional, affordable education that prepares students for success in work and life.

GradReports ranks UVU as No. 1 college in Utah for alumni earnings

We are committed to offering an education that is not only affordable but also a valuable investment for our students. GradReports, from the higher education research and publishing company Optimal, ranked UVU as the top school in Utah for the highest alumni earnings. UVU’s salary score rating, which measures whether alumni from a particular college tend to earn higher salaries than alumni with the same major from other colleges, placed first in the state and ranked higher than the median for colleges in the nation. UVU’s annual tuition also ranks within the lowest three of the nine eligible schools in Utah.

Check out our other individual program rankings from GradReports below.

Best Colleges 2021 banner

#4 Best Aviation Schools 2020



#7 Best Associate in Business Programs 2020

#14 Best Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Degree Programs 2020



#20 Best Colleges for Criminal Justice 2020


The “2518” campaign supports the First-Generation Completion Initiative to remove barriers and provide necessary resources to first-generation students, who represent 37% of students at UVU. Through the Office of Alumni Relations, this student-led initiative raised almost $8,000 from students, alumni, and the community and funded our first endowed scholarship. Supporting this initiative directly helps students complete their degrees through scholarships and program support.

Students wearing 2518 shirts

Returning Value

UVU ranked third in the nation for the best return on investment

Business Insider logo

Business Insider ranked UVU third in the nation for the best return on investment. The American financial and business news website determined this number by comparing graduates’ earnings after 10 years with the average cost of attendance among four-year colleges in the United States that have an enrollment of at least 1,000 undergraduates. Business Insider’s No. 3 ranking demonstrates the superior value and quality of a UVU education, which continues to pay off for graduates long into the future. UVU was the only public university in the state included in the ranking.

Utah Jazz scholarship

Utah Jazz logo

Utah’s professional basketball team is changing students’ lives through a new slam dunk scholarship initiative. During the 2020-21 season, the Utah Jazz committed to providing full-ride, four-year scholarships to underrepresented students of color for every victory. The team won 61 games and awarded the first 30 scholarships to students planning to enroll in college beginning fall 2021. This past summer, Wolverine Alexa Garcia received an unexpected FaceTime call from NBA star Rudy Gobert, who shared the news that she had scored one of the scholarships. Garcia is a Latina first-generation college student, and she plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in economics at UVU.

Returning Wolverine Grant

Many students postpone finishing their degrees due to work, family, personal commitments, or the financial burden of paying for school. Qualifying students can apply for financial assistance through our need-based Returning Wolverine Grant. Scholarship amounts vary based on individual circumstances and are intended for students who have completed 90 or more credit hours.

In the last five years, the Student Affairs team has personally contacted over 16,000 students who completed some course credits at UVU but never finished their degrees. We have also expanded options to count previous credits toward a new degree path. As a result of these efforts, almost 3,000 students have enrolled again, 277 students have completed a bachelor’s degree, and 260 students have earned an associate degree.

Student at table using laptop