UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | November 11, 2022

Scholarship deferments increase with LDS missionary age change

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An increase of students leaving Dixie State College means more scholarship deferments.

In December 2012, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lowered the missionary service age. Men are able to leave when they reach 18 years and older and women can enter the mission field when they are 19 years and older. Many DSC students are taking the opportunity to leave and serve missions for a span of 18 months to two years.

“We have seen a large increase of deferment requests, especially among females,” said Susan Perschon, DSC scholarship coordinator. 

Perschon said there is an average of 25 to 30 deferments at midyear. However, this year she has already received about 100 requests. Ninety percent of deferments are requested because of religious or service opportunities.

The admissions office’s goal is to make students’ lives as easy as possible when they need to leave, no matter the circumstance, Perschon said.

Students said they are glad they have the option to defer their scholarships while they are gone for a period of time.

“It is nice to know that the money awarded to me will still be there when I get back,” said Brittany Mecham, a sophomore general education major from Santa Clara.

Director of Admissions Laralee Davenport said the admissions department created the new program because of past experiences the school has had. The program also had to be adjusted because of the missionaries.

“Making sure that students have a seamless transition is our focus and goal,” Perschon said.

Students can defer their scholarships for family, work, financial problems, religious service, personal reasons and military service. 

The new program is now fully online and is easier for faculty and students instead of having to use paperwork, which could be misplaced. 

Students must submit their deferment form the semester before they intend to leave. Students are also allowed to fill out a FERPA form, which allows a family member to sign students up for classes if they happen to be gone for registration.

Scholarships and school enrollment can be held for as long as six semesters, and students must make sure to make the admissions department aware of when they return. 

Information about leave of absence can be found on the Dixie website, or in the Jeffery R. Holland Centennial building on campus.