Blog Post

Insight: Back to School: Getting to Know Utah’s Student Population

By: Andrea Thomas Brandley

Can you think of anything better than crisp new school supplies, planning a new school routine, and the excitement of embarking on another year of learning? Okay, okay, I’m not naïve. I recognize you can probably think of a hundred things. But as someone who has always wanted to go to school forever, I love the start of a new school year. Even though I am no longer a formal student or teacher, I can feel a shift in the air as nearly a million Utah K-12 and college students get ready to start a new school year.

As the school year begins, let’s get to know Utah’s student population. Here are ten key facts about Utah’s public K-12 and post-secondary students1.

Utah’s K-12 public school students

  1. Approximately 675,000 students attend Utah’s public schools with about 88% attending a school in one of Utah’s 41 school districts and 12% enrolling in one of more than 100 charter schools.
  2. School district sizes vary greatly from less than 200 students in Daggett School District to more than 80,000 students in Alpine School District.
  3. Utah’s K-12 students are more diverse than the state as a whole – nearly 30% of students are students of color. Four Utah school districts (Granite, Ogden, Salt Lake, and San Juan) are now majority-minority, meaning more than half of their student population are students of color.
  4. Additionally, about one-third of Utah K-12 students are economically disadvantaged (as measured by qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch), 8% are English language learners, and 12% are students with disabilities.
  5. Demographic projections show that Utah’s school-age population is estimated to grow by about 100,000 students over the next forty years, with about 2/3 of this growth expected in Utah County.2

Utah’s public post-secondary studen