The Carson Smith Scholarship (Special Needs Scholarship) is a state-funded program that provides private school scholarships to K-12 students with disabilities. The Scholarship was signed into law on March 10, 2005 by Governor Jon Huntsman and is administered by the Utah State Office of Education.
Students attending Elizabeth Academy or Garfield School who have special needs may be eligible to receive a Carson Smith scholarship, which is granted by the state of Utah. They are available for children with documented special needs and who will be three years old before September 2nd of the current school year. Carson Smith scholarships are granted quarterly during the year.
Carson Smith Scholarship Eligibility
To be eligible for a scholarship, the student must meet all of the following requirements:
1. The student’s custodial parent or legal guardian must reside within the State of Utah.
2. The student must have one or more of the following disabilities:
Autism, Developmental Delay*, Emotional Disturbance, Hearing Impairment, Intellectual Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Speech/Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, Visual Impairment (including Blindness)
*Applicable to children between 3 to 8 years of age
3. The student must be at least three years of age before September 2 of the current school year.
4. The student must meet one of these two conditions:
a) The student was enrolled in a Utah public school in the previous school year, had a current IEP during the school year and has been admitted to an eligible private school; or
b) The student enrolled in, or has been admitted to an eligible private school designated as a “School that has Previously Served Students with Disabilities”, and an assessment team, consisting of representatives from the private school, local education agency, or public schools, and assessment consisting representatives private school, local education agency, or public schools, and parents (Utah Code Sec 53A-1a 704(7) has determined that the student would qualify to receive special education and related services if enrolled in a public school.
5. An application must be completed and submitted with supporting documentation to Granite School District (for students attending Elizabeth Academy) or Salt Lake School District (for students attending Garfield Academy) or, if your child attended public school last year, to their school district associated with the public school they attended, as directed in the instructions on the application.
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Utah State Board of Education
Attention: Carson Smith Scholarship
PO Box 144200
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200
Carson Smith Scholarship (CSS) and State Fiscal Accountability
Phone: (801) 538-7589 | E-mail(External Web Content)
Office Specialist II
Phone: (801) 538-7612 | E-mail