State Colleges System adds scholarship and free tuition opportunities

Vermont Business Magazine Today Vermont State Colleges System Board of Trustees Chair Lynn Dickinson and Chancellor Sophie Zdatny were joined on Vermont Technical College’s Randolph campus by all four institution Presidents and the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation to announce additional scholarship and free tuition opportunities for Vermont students.

With Chancellor Zdatny and Chair Dickinson today were:

  • Marilyn Cargill, VSAC Vice President of Financial Aid Services, Marketing, and Research;
  • Jonathan Spiro, Interim President of Castleton University;
  • Joyce Judy, President of the Community College of Vermont;
  • Elaine Collins, President of Northern Vermont University; and
  • Patricia Moulton, President of Vermont Technical College.

Speaking on these historic investments, Chair Dickinson stated, “In allocating the federal American Rescue Plan Act funds, the state prioritized higher and continuing education and workforce development with remarkable investments in student scholarships and in the public higher education system. Part of that prioritization is a mandate for the system-wide transformation of the Vermont State Colleges while maintaining the student-centered focus for which we are known. That is why we announced today the availability of over $16 million in student scholarships and free tuition programs for Vermonters in the upcoming academic year.”

Chancellor Zdatny added, “This includes Welcome Home Scholarships of up to $5,000 for Vermonters transferring home to VSCS institutions from out-of-state schools or those who might be returning to school after leaving last year. If you are a Vermont student who left school last year, perhaps because of the impacts of the pandemic, or you are a Vermont student considering transferring home to a VSC institution, this scholarship was designed with you in mind.

Responding to Vermont’s need for skilled workers and the over 50,000 Vermonters(link is external) who have taken some classes but do not yet have a credential or degree, the state also funded a Degree Completion Scholarship for Vermonters next year. We know that deciding whether or not to return to school to finish a degree is a tough decision – individuals have to weigh the cost of attendance with the cost of childcare, housing, the cost of fewer working hours, and more. This scholarship can help. It covers last-dollar tuition – meaning that it covers tuition and fees after state and federal gift aid – for up to 30 credits in the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year.

Additionally, the state awarded significant funds to provide one year of Free Tuition to Vermonters enrolled in a diverse variety of Critical Occupation programs this coming year. This includes all VSCS Nursing and nursing pathway programs, the Early Childhood Education programs, the Paramedicine program, and more. A full list is available at: is external) Vermonters enrolled in these programs will receive last-dollar tuition, an incredible and meaningful investment in Vermont learners and their ability to afford and access higher education.”

VSAC Vice President of Financial Aid Services, Marketing, and Research, Marilyn Cargill spoke today about two additional VSAC programs that provide additional financial support for Vermont students. Green Mountain Grad(link is external) offers one tuition-free college class to the high school graduates of the classes of 2020 and 2021 at any school in the Vermont State Colleges System. 802 Opportunity provides free tuition at Community College of Vermont for students and families with an income of $50,000 or less.

“This is such an exciting time for students of all ages to make this important investment in their future. We know these programs will provide critical financial resources to make education and training accessible to more Vermonters,” shared Cargill. “We also know that it can be complicated and confusing to navigate financial assistance to be sure students and families are taking full advantage of the programs available. That’s where VSAC comes in. We urge students to reach out to us for guidance.”

Chancellor Zdatny also noted, “one important detail for Vermonters to know is that VSC institutions have rolling admissions. If you’re thinking about enrolling, please contact us(link is external). We would love to help you find a program that fits you at one of our schools. These investments will pave the way to a college degree for many Vermonters and we’re thrilled to announce these partnerships with the State and VSAC with you today.”

For the benefit of Vermont, the Vermont State Colleges system provides affordable, high quality, student-centered, and accessible education, fully integrating professional, liberal, and career study, consistent with student aspirations and regional and state needs. The Vermont State Colleges system includes Castleton University, the Community College of Vermont, Northern Vermont University, and Vermont Technical College. Learn more at is external).

Courtesy – Vermontbiz

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