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Thanks to a varied terrain that features arid deserts, the Rocky Mountains, and protected natural parks, much of Utah is uninhabited. In fact, three out of every four people in Utah live in the northern metropolitan areas of Weber, Salt Lake, and Utah Counties. No surprise, you can find most of the colleges, universities, and community colleges in Utah in this area, especially in Salt Lake City. As the state capital, Salt Lake City is home to the University of Utah, Utah State University, BYU, Westminster College, Salt Lake Community College, and The Art Institute of Salt Lake City, as well as several trade and technical schools.

Currently, only 39% of Utahns hold an associate degree or higher. By 2020, the state wants that number to be 66%. To achieve this, the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) has launched an aggressive strategic plan to enroll more students in institutions of higher education. One key recommendation in the plan involves online education to help make higher education more affordable – and thus, more accessible. Specifically, the recommendations call for USHE institutions to expand online course and degree offerings that could be made available at a low cost. The plan also recommends providing a portal so students and faculty can access online courses. As a result, within the next 10 years, options in Utah online colleges are likely to increase. For now, students interested in distance learning can find information on online colleges in Utah at the Utah Education Network’s website, which features a database of courses by subject.

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