DAR File No. 40024

This rule was published in the January 15, 2016, issue (Vol. 2016, No. 2) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Navajo Trust Fund, Trustees

Rule R661-6

Utah Navajo Trust Fund Higher Education Financial Assistance and Scholarship Program

Notice of Proposed Rule

(New Rule)

DAR File No.: 40024
Filed: 12/28/2015 03:08:14 PM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

This rule is required by Subsection 51-10-205(4)(a).

Summary of the rule or change:

This rule sets forth the objective, definitions, eligibility, funding procedures, application requirements, recipient obligations, program effectiveness metrics and grievance and appeal procedures for the higher education scholarships funded by the Utah Navajo Trust Fund.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Subsection 51-10-205(4)(a)

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

No aggregate anticipated cost or savings to state budget because this rule sets out the procedure for beneficiaries of the Utah Navajo Trust Fund, Navajos residing in San Juan County, to apply for funding from the trust fund.

local governments:

No aggregated anticipated cost or savings to local government because this rule sets out the procedure for beneficiaries of the Utah Navajo Trust Fund, Navajos residing in San Juan County, to apply for funding from the trust fund.

small businesses:

No aggregated anticipated cost or savings to small businesses because this rule sets out the procedure for beneficiaries of the Utah Navajo Trust Fund, Navajos residing in San Juan County, to apply for funding from the trust fund.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

There are anticipated savings to San Juan County, Utah Navajo students seeking to attend college or university with financial assistance or scholarships.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

There is a possible minimal cost to applicants to obtain documentation necessary to establish eligibility.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

There is a possible positive fiscal impact on businesses by increasing qualified employees.

David Damschen, State Treasurer

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Navajo Trust Fund
TrusteesRoom 180
350 N State Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84114

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Katharine Kinsman at the above address, by phone at 801-366-0140, by FAX at , or by Internet E-mail at kkinsman@utah.gov

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:


This rule may become effective on:


Authorized by:

David Damschen, State Treasurer


R661. Navajo Trust Fund, Trustees.

R661-6. Utah Navajo Trust Fund Higher Education Financial Assistance and Scholarship Program.

R661-6-101. Objective.

(1) The Higher Education Financial Assistance Scholarship Program ("the Program") includes both the UNTF Higher Education Scholarship Fund and the UNTF Endowment Fund. The objective of the Program is to assist San Juan County, Utah, Navajo college students with scholarships by matching other college financial assistance or funding sources.

(2) UNTF higher education scholarship funding is available to eligible San Juan County, Utah, Navajo students for studies at institutions of their choice.

(3) The UNTF Endowment Education Fund was established in 1994 to provide college financial assistance to eligible San Juan County, Utah, Navajo College students attending college in San Juan County, Utah, such as Utah State University-Eastern-Blanding Campus. The Endowment Fund was established as a result of a special U. S. Dept. of Education grant which brought together five contributors/partners: UNTF, USU-Eastern, Ute Mountain Tribe, Calvin Black Foundation, and a U.S. Government grant regarding Native American education.

(a) UNTF continues to participate in the Endowment Fund even though the scheduled twenty (20) year period maturity occurred in 2014 due to the good growth of the Fund.

(b) Funds from the Endowment Fund yearly allocation must be exhausted before regular UNTF funds are utilized. The Endowment Fund allocation to UNTF is based on the Endowment's previous year's earnings from investment.


R661-6-201. Definitions.

(1) "College" means any college, university, technical school, or institution of higher learning after high school (post-secondary) level.

(2) "Financial Assistance" means UNTF financial assistance for college expenses.

(3) "Academic Term" means the period of time that the college uses to begin and end educational sessions such as a semester, quarter, term, etc.


R661-6-301. Eligibility.

(1) Applicants must meet the UNTF residency requirement every two years.

(a) The residency requirement may have to be renewed more often than two years if a name change or record change becomes essential.

(b) The Applicants' Chapter shall require a Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB) for its records in order to establish proof of enrollment with the Navajo tribe and chapter membership as a San Juan County, Utah Navajo resident.

(2) The applicant must be enrolled in at least six (6) credit hours of approved college courses during the regular academic term. Course work must apply towards an approved degree or certificate program from an accredited post-secondary institution.

(a) Repeated and/or audited courses will not be funded by UNTF. If a student changes majors and has to retake lower level courses, only one transition academic term will be paid by UNTF.

(b) The eligible San Juan County, Utah Navajo College student must maintain a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 grade point scale. UNTF has the discretion to provide incremental scholarship bonuses to students who obtain a GPA greater than 2.0

(i) Grades from the previous academic term shall be submitted to UNTF following the completed academic term.

(ii) Awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

(c) If a student's GPA falls below 2.0, UNTF will provide a warning letter to the student and place the student on probation. If a student's GPA is below 2.0 for two consecutive semesters, the student will be ineligible for any further UNTF assistance unless the student is able to bring their GPA to 2.0 or above using their own resources or non-UNTF resources.

(3) San Juan County, Utah, Navajo Students are eligible for UNTF assistance in obtaining a One-year or two-year Certificate, Associates, Baccalaureate, Masters, or Doctorate degree.

(a) Eligible San Juan County, Utah, Navajo College Students shall declare a major in a given field no later than two (2) years after commencement of higher level education so that proper counseling and academic advice can be provided

(b) Only one bachelor's degree will be funded by UNTF, unless the second degree is closely related to the first degree and if the same prerequisite general education classes can be used.

(c) The limit for Associates Degree is 75 credit hours and 145 credit hours for a Bachelors Degree.

(d) A "degree contract" must be agreed upon between the college and the student and submitted to UNTF to receive funding. A "degree contract" is a list of core of classes required to obtain a degree.

(4) Graduate students must submit a letter of acceptance and be eligible for UNTF Scholarship, and must carry the minimum graduate studies requirement of the College. An exception will be made if the course work is one of a special requirement for the professional track and/or tenure such as a special license or certification.

(5) High School Concurrent Enrollment Program students must meet the eligibility criteria regarding all requirements for the UNTF Higher Education Scholarship & Financial Assistance Program with the following modifications:

(a) Applicant shall provide a letter of recommendation from his/her high school counselor or school officials for concurrent enrollment program participation. The letter should address the student's ability to meet the demands of concurrent enrollment.

(b) Students must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in their high school studies to be eligible for this program.

(c) The maximum amount of UNTF assistance available annually is determined by the UNTF Board. The UNTF assistance can be increased by the UNTF Board of Directors based on the Utah colleges cost data that is maintained by the State of Utah-Department of Education.

(6) On-line or correspondence courses may be taken as long as earned credits are applied to a degree program or a recognized certification program under UNTF funding guidelines.

(a) All UNTF Higher Education Scholarship eligibility requirements must be met by the applicant before any assistance toward the on-line/correspondence courses will be approved.

(b) Students attending on-line/correspondence courses shall be eligible for UNTF funding if enrolled in at least three (3) credit hours of approved college course work.


R661-6-401. Funding.

(1) UNTF is not a primary funding source, UNTF funds are supplemental to other scholarship and financial aid resources. UNTF will fund a student based on credit hours. The maximum amount of funding available per academic term is determined by the UNTF Board.

(2) The amount of funding afforded to each eligible San Juan County, Utah, Navajo College student per academic term is determined by the number of credit hours and a financial needs analysis. The award amount per credit-hour-group will be determined by UNTF as part of each year's annual budget.

(a) Academic workload incentive: Incremental scholarship amounts shall be awarded based on the workload taken; following credit/unit incremental groups of: 6 to 8; 9 to 11; and 12 hours, or over per academic term.

(i) Should a student drop a class which results in dropping the student to the next lower incremental group, the student's funding for the next academic term shall be assessed a decreased funding adjustment, unless a refund is properly made by the student.

(ii) In order to qualify for the "workload incentive", first-time students must submit a course registration list by mail, e-mail, or telefax to the UNTF Higher Education Office.

(ii) In order to facilitate the UNTF award on a timely basis toward the student's next academic term with respect to the "workload incentive", the student must submit a list of the courses from pre-registration to the UNTF Education Specialist. The information will help determine the actual award amount based on the number of hours or credit units to be carried in the next academic term.

(b) Financial Needs Analysis

(i) Applicants must file a FAFSA Grant application with the U.S. Department of Education in order to determine their financial aid needs from UNTF.

(ii) It is the responsibility of the institution's Student Financial Aid Office to complete the needs analysis, and to request an award from UNTF based upon the determined need. When the financial needs determination is completed, the student must complete a UNTF financial assistance application which can be obtained from the UNTF Higher Education Scholarship.

(iii) Upon completion of the needs analysis by the Office of Student Financial Aid, the UNTF Education Specialist will evaluate the level of financial assistance requested, matching resources, and make the appropriate award amount.

(iv) Students with a "No Need" determination (as determined by the educational institution) may be awarded UNTF funding if the financial aid officer at the institution determines the parents cannot or are unwilling to provide the family contribution to meet the student's need as determined by the federal financial aid application analysis.

(A) The UNTF "No Need" contribution amount is limited to the Expected Family Contribution (EFC amount) however, the maximum limits will be no more than 75% of the normal scholarship award amounts.

(B) If financial assistance calculates out at less than $40.00 for "No Need" it will not be awarded

(C) The EFC amount is determined by the Federal Student Aid program, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, when a student applies to the FAFSA (Free Application for Financial Student Aid) program.

(v) If the student does not qualify for FAFSA and the EFC cannot be determined; and if the student is otherwise eligible for UNTF assistance an $800.00 grant amount may be awarded for the last academic term prior to graduation for a bachelor's degree or higher degree.

(3) All student applicants must also apply to the Navajo Nation Office of Scholarship & Financial Assistance (ONNSFA). UNTF coordinates with ONNSFA to exchange information regarding match funding with UNTF and other acquired resource funds. All Student applicants to the UNTF funds must sign the UNTF Consent Form that authorizes UNTF to contact ONNSFA to verify funding verification.

(4) The UNTF Education Specialist will process the required and appropriate funding documentation to the UNTF Financial Manager for funding disbursement. The UNTF Financial Manager shall maintain accounts, historical and concurrent, of all UNTF-funded students for proper record keeping and reporting. UNTF check(s) will be mailed to the institution's Student Financial Aid Office. No payment(s) will be made directly to a student.

(5) All Post-Graduate students must abide by appropriate application procedures in accordance with post-graduate study program requirements. Supplemental funding from other sources is a major requirement in participating in the graduate-studies program, including program funds from the Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship and Financial Aid (ONNSFA). Other considerations regarding special studies as applied to the undergraduate program also apply.

(6) UNTF Higher Education Scholarship funds may not be used to pay loans, including education loans; purchase(s) of personal belongings not directly associated with higher education studies; encumbrances from previous year's college/university attendance; and other expenses for which the funds are not intended.

(a) Students withdrawing from classes are required to refund the UNTF awards for that academic term. UNTF reserves the right to adjust awards for any refund amounts that were not paid.

(b) The penalty for misspent or misused UNTF scholarship funds will include placing the student on ineligible status for a one (1) year period. The student may re-establish his/her eligibility for UNTF funding by successfully completing a full academic year without the financial assistance of UNTF.

(c) Misuse or false acquisition of scholarship or emergency assistance funds by the student shall be subject to repayment to UNTF Higher Education Scholarship Program via standard collection procedures, which may include legal action.


R661-6-501. Application Schedule and Requirements.

(1) The UNTF Higher Education Scholarship Program observes and follows a funding schedule compatible with Federal, State, Tribal, and private agencies. Students must carefully observe these schedules to allow for the most timely funding application consideration, especially application deadline dates. Matching funds are critical and essential, since UNTF funding is supplemental.

(2) Students should observe the institution's academic year schedule and early funding application submittal to UNTF to ensure proper funding review and consideration.


R661-6-601. Student Recipient Obligations.

(1) UNTF-funded students must maintain acceptable academic progress in conformance with academic standards set by UNTF and the participating institutions. UNTF requires the funded student to maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 to be eligible for continued funding consideration.

(2) Official transcripts shall be provided to UNTF at the commencement of the each fall academic term.

(a) If a student fails to provide an official transcript, UNTF funds will be discontinued.

(b) A student's failure to provide required funding documents is not grounds for grievance action on the part of the student.

(3) In order to receive UNTF Funding the Student shall execute all necessary documentation required by the College to permit the College to release the Student's official transcript and degree information to UNTF.


R661-6-701. Program Effectiveness Metrics.

(1) Scholarship recipient progress shall be tracked by UNTF staff.

(2) UNTF staff shall report to the UNTF Board:

(a) When a recipient completes a certificate or degree program; and

(b) The time it took the recipient to complete the program.


R661-6-801. Grievance and Appeal Procedures.

(1) Grievance and Appeals Procedures: A student applicant may file a grievance with the UNTF Education Specialist if the student disagrees with the decision rendered regarding his/her funding.

(a) The written grievance shall be submitted to the Education Specialist within fourteen (14) calendar days from the date the adverse decision was mailed to the student.

(b) The written grievance statement must contain a justification for re-consideration of the Education Specialist's decision, including attachment of documents which may support such justification.

(2) The Education Specialist shall report receipt of the written grievance to the UNTF Financial Manager for review. The UNTF Financial Manager shall make a determination regarding the substance of the grievance within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the written grievance.

(a) If the grievant is dissatisfied with the Financial Manager's decision, an appeal may be filed with UNTF.

(i) To appeal the decision of the UNTF Financial Manager, an applicant may submit a written request for a hearing to the UNTF Scholarship Appellate Committee within ten (10) calendar days via the Education Specialist.

(A) The Applicant must include a written justification statement setting forth with specificity the reason(s) why the decisions made by the Higher Education Specialist and the Financial Manager should be reversed.

(B) The Applicant shall include copies of all documentation supporting the justification identified in the Applicant's statement.

(ii) The Appellate Committee must commence a hearing with within fourteen (14) calendar days of the receipt of the request.

(iii) The student shall be notified in writing by certified mail seven (7) calendar days prior to the hearing.

(iv) A decision by the Appellate Committee shall be rendered within (15) calendar days after the Committee hearing.

(3) Appellate Committee

(a) The Appellate Committee is comprised of: 1) two members of the UNTF Dine' Advisory Committee, 2) the UNTF Administrator, 3) a college student, and 4) a representative from another state agency or institution of higher learning.

(b) The Appellate Committee may choose not to hear a case if the grieving party has not submitted a justification in writing with appropriate and necessary supportive documentation.

(4) Appellate Committee Hearing Procedures

(a) Attorneys, court advocates, or any type of legal representation are not allowed in the Appellate Committee Hearing. Family members or other persons are not allowed in the Committee Hearing. The attendees of the hearing will consist of the Appellate Committee members, the UNTF Education Specialist, and the Applicant (Grievant).

(b) A letter will be sent to the UNTF Education Specialist and the Student/Grievant of the Appellate Committee's decision on the matter. This will be the final decision and final step of the UNTF Appeal and Grievance process.


KEY: scholarships, endowment fund, college, Utah Navajo Trust Fund (UNTF)

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: 2016

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 51-10


Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull-pdf/2016/b20160115.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

Text to be deleted is struck through and surrounded by brackets ([example]). Text to be added is underlined (example).  Older browsers may not depict some or any of these attributes on the screen or when the document is printed.

For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Katharine Kinsman at the above address, by phone at 801-366-0140, by FAX at , or by Internet E-mail at kkinsman@utah.gov.  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Division of Administrative Rules.