Utah offers a wide range of educational opportunities, from K-12 to the college-level, and enjoys a low drop-out rate, while the rest of the country is seeing drop-out rates increase. In 2006, the state ranked second in the nation, at 93 percent, in terms of the number of twenty-five year-olds who had graduated from high school. Utah ranks sixteenth in the percentage of residents holding a four-year degree. The state boasts a 94 percent literacy rate -- the highest in the nation -- and has the highest percentage of computers per household in the nation. (Utah Facts 2008)
There are 130 K-12 private schools and 67 charter schools. These range from religious-oriented schools for Catholic, Jewish, and other faiths to non-denominational schools with a special focus on the performing arts, math, or science and engineering. There are programs offered for students with special needs, schools for those who wish to compete in winter sports at the national level, and rigorous college preparatory schools.
Utah students' scores for standardized tests such as the ACT, SAT and Advanced Placement are consistently higher than the national average. In 2006, Utah public school students taking one or more advanced placement tests achieved a pass rate of 66 percent, compared with a national pass rate of 58 percent for public schools. (Utah Facts 2008)
Utah is known world-wide for its exceptional performance arts education and programs. The state is home to the Tony-award winning Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, which works with local theater school programs. The Sundance Film Festival offers youth workshops, and Salt Lake City-based SpyHop’s LocoMotion International Youth Film Festival, a 24-hour filmmaking competition, is one of the premier youth film festivals in the country.
There are three Utah-based private universities and colleges (BYU, Westminster College, and LDS Business College) and 10 state run universities, state colleges, and community colleges. The state system includes two major research/teaching universities, two metropolitan/regional universities, two state colleges, three community colleges, and a college of applied technology. And, according to the College Board, Utah's average college tuition costs are roughly 10 percent lower than the national average.
Utah is known as one of the fastest growing states for fostering entrepreneurship in the nation, due in large part to its progressive universities.