Carson Smith Scholarship – Apply now

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.

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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.  

Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Statement

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) is committed to making compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). At this time we recognize that not all areas of our website are ADA compliant. We are currently in the process of redesigning and creating new website content to be compliant with the W3C Level Two guidelines.

The Utah State Board of Education does not endorse and is not responsible for content on external websites linked from this page.

All personal information (including applications) should be faxed to (801) 538-7991 or mailed to our office. All other questions and information can be e-mailed to Web Content). Items mailed to our office must be addressed exactly as shown below. Any deviations from the format may result in significant delays.

Utah State Board of Education
Attention: Carson Smith Scholarship
PO Box 144200
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200


Tony Zambrana
Carson Smith Scholarship (CSS) and State Fiscal Accountability
Phone: (801) 538-7589 |  E-mail(External Web Content)

Esther Navarrette
Office Specialist II
Phone: (801) 538-7612 |  E-mail

Overview – Carson Smith Scholarship

 2021-2022 Carson Smith Scholarship Funding Schedule(PDF File)

 Carson Smith Scholarship Program General Overview(PDF File)

 Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship Timeline and Deadlines 2021-2022(PDF File)

 Carson Smith Scholarship Additional Timelines

Local Education Agencies (LEAs)

 Carson Smith Scholarship Public School Responsibilities

Parents and Students

 2020-2021 Carson Smith Eligible School List(PDF File)

 2021-2022 Carson Smith Scholarship Student Application(PDF File)

 Carson Smith Scholarship Student Application Instructions for Parents(PDF File)

 Carson Smith Scholarship Program Parent/Guardian Change Form

Carson Smith Scholarship for Private Schools

 Carson Smith Scholarship Private School Application for Extending to an Additional Location(PDF File)

 Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship Assessment Team Meeting Record (ATMR)(PDF File)

 Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship Assessment Team Meeting Record (ATMR) Instructions(PDF File)

 Documentation of Assessment Team Meetings(PDF File)

 Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship Change of Information Form(PDF File)

 Carson Smith Scholarship Information for Private Schools Considering Becoming Carson Smith Eligible School(PDF File)

 Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship Private School Application