Utah student awarded scholarship after being denied on technicality

Posted at 6:39 PM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-12 20:44:02-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- When a Utah honor student applied for the Regents’ Scholarship she thought she met all the requirements, but a so called technicality dashed her dreams until Monday.

During her senior year at West Lake High, Madison Taylor applied for the Regents’ Scholarship. One of the requirements is to complete 3.5 credits of social science.

Taylor passed an advanced placement psychology course for that half credit.

After consulting with her school counselor, she dropped the class and enrolled in another one for college credit. But that move ended up disqualifying Madison for the scholarship and she lost out on up to $3,000 per semester.

“They were punishing me for taking a harder class and that didn’t really make sense,” Madison said.

Madison’s father, Tim Taylor, is an attorney. He challenged what he calls a confusing rule with the Board of Regents.

“When you work on something for four years and you get told you don’t qualify because of a technicality that really prompted us and that really, it got out the lawyer in me, quite honestly,” Taylor said.

A group of lawmakers took a closer look at the rule. They concluded that the rule wasn’t as clear as it should have been and announced Madison would receive the scholarship after all.

“We try to be as fair as we can to every student and to make sure that if there’s a gray area than we side on the student’s side,” said Dave Buhler, Commissioner of Higher Education.

“I’m so grateful to my dad. He’s put in so much effort and time,” Madison said.

The news benefits 15 other students who fall under the same category as Madison and were denied scholarships.

The board agreed to award them the scholarships as well.