Online Colleges in Vermont
Top Online Programs
In addition to its natural beauty, Vermont offers exceptional job prospects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Vermont's unemployment rate was 2.8% in August of 2018, a full percentage point lower than the national average.
Vermont boasts a strong system of public universities, including the University of Vermont's flagship campus in Burlington and 12 community colleges located throughout the state. Students can also pursue an online degree at one of Vermont's many private institutions, including Dartmouth College, an Ivy League university in Hanover.
This page provides an overview of Vermont's online colleges, including information on job prospects for students with a college degree, the cost of attending school in the state, and the best majors for those who hope to work in Vermont after graduation. It also offers resources on how you can help pay for your education through grants and scholarships.
Job Outlook for Students With College Degrees in Vermont
In 2017, the BLS reported that Vermont's annual mean wage trailed the national average by close to $2,000.
According to the Vermont Department of Labor, about 38% of jobs in the state required some form of postsecondary education in 2016. Through 2026, this percentage should continue to grow, as fields like healthcare experience strong expansion.
Jobs requiring more education tend to pay better. For example, the median annual wage for professionals with a bachelor's degree in Vermont exceeded $66,000 in 2017, while those with a professional degree earned close to $76,000 that year. By comparison, the median salary for an individual with only a high school diploma approached $39,000.
To take advantage of lucrative opportunities in the state's economy, you should consider attending a Vermont online college.
Unemployment Rate, August 2018
Annual Mean Wage, May 2017
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Cost of Online Colleges in Vermont
Attending an online college in Vermont may prove more expensive than seeking a degree elsewhere, as the cost of tuition and fees at most two-year and four-year institutions in the state exceeds the national average. According to College Board, Vermont's community college students pay about $4,500 more per year than their peers in other states, with public university students paying about $6,000 more per year.
While schools usually charge similar tuition rates to distance and on-campus learners, students attending Vermont colleges online often avoid expenses that on-campus students incur, like transportation and room and board. Some colleges also waive fees associated with certain campus services for online students, like the use of athletic facilities.
If you plan to earn a bachelor's degree, you may consider first attending a Vermont community college online. You can save a considerable amount of money by earning an associate degree and then transferring to a four-year college or university.
Research public and private financial aid programs to help pay for your education. Below, is information about scholarships and grants available to students taking online college courses in Vermont.
Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2018-19
|Public Two-Year||Public Four-Year|
Source: The College Board
In-State vs. Out-of-State Tuition in Vermont
Vermont residents pay, on average, about $23,000 less in tuition and fees at public colleges and universities than out-of-state students.
If you live in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Rhode Island, you may qualify for discounted tuition at Vermont institutions through the New England Board of Higher Education (NEHBE) Tuition Break program. During the 2016-17 academic year, about 9,000 New England students saved close to $60 million by participating in this regional exchange program.
To qualify, you must be a permanent resident of a New England state. You must also attend one of the 82 public colleges and universities that participate in the program. To see if your institution offers discounted tuition to nonresidents, check the NEHBE's list of participating schools.
Average Tuition and Fees, 2018-19
|Public Two-Year||Public Four-Year|
Source: The College Board
Financial Aid in Vermont
To qualify for financial aid, begin by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). By calculating your expected family contribution (EFC), the FAFSA determines your eligibility for numerous forms of support, including grants, work-study opportunities, and low-interest student loans. Many states also use your federal EFC to make financial aid decisions.
The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC), a public, nonprofit agency, provides aid and resources to state residents and those attending college in Vermont. For example, VSAC administers three grant programs to students with demonstrable financial need. It also publishes a directory of more than 140 private scholarships available to Vermont residents. Alongside these financial aid opportunities, VSAC's website offers advice on planning for college costs and avoiding scams.
You do not need to repay money you receive from scholarships, grants, or work-study programs. You do need to pay back your student loans with interest. Federal and state loans typically require lower interest rates than private loans.
State Grant Aid per Full-Time Equivalent Undergraduate Student, 2016-17
Source: The College Board
Scholarships and Grants for Vermont College Students
Several state agencies and private organizations offer grants and scholarships to Vermont college students. Look for programs aligned with your background and professional aspirations. For example, if you hope to work as a nurse, apply to scholarships for students entering a healthcare profession.
Who Can Apply: The Vermont Incentive Grant provides financial aid to state residents with demonstrable financial need. You must enroll full time in a certificate, associate, or bachelor's program to qualify. Medical and veterinary students may also apply.
Who Can Apply: Students enrolled in fewer than 12 hours per term can apply for the Vermont Part-time Grant. This program supports students with demonstrable financial need seeking an undergraduate or advanced degree in medicine.
Who Can Apply: Students who do not plan to seek a degree can apply for this grant. They must take courses that improve their ability to get a job or lead to further study.
Who Can Apply: The Samara Fund provides support to students with a strong academic record and a commitment to serving the LGBTQ community. Applicants must live in Vermont and hold a high school diploma or GED.
Who Can Apply: This scholarship aims to draw more students into the nursing profession. To apply, you must seek a degree in registered nursing or nursing education, demonstrate financial need, and write an essay.
Who Can Apply: This program supports students with significant financial need, prioritizing first-generation college students. Applicants must maintain at least a 2.8 GPA during high school.
Who Can Apply: The Freeman Foundation supports first-generation college students. To qualify, you must live in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, maintain a 3.0 GPA, demonstrate financial need, and attend an accredited institution.
Who Can Apply: The Gilman Foundation provides awards to students based on financial need and school or community involvement. Applicants do not need to live in Vermont. To receive the full three years of funding, you must remain enrolled full time.
Who Can Apply: Students seeking licensure as a special educator can apply for this award. Requirements include a minimum 3.0 GPA and demonstrable community involvement, particularly service to those with disabilities.
Who Can Apply: This program supports single parents with a child under the age of 12. Applicants must demonstrate financial need. Recipients can use the award for tuition or childcare expenses.
Amount: Up to $4,000
Best Majors for Online Students in Vermont
The Vermont Department of Labor projects strong employment growth in healthcare and above-average growth in computer and information technology. Seeking a major in one of these areas positions you for success after graduation.
An associate degree in nursing, for example, prepares you for a job as a registered nurse. According to the BLS, the median registered nurse earned $70,000 in 2017, which is well above the national median salary for all occupations. A bachelor's in nursing expands senior opportunities, such as becoming a nurse supervisor or continuing your education to become a nurse practitioner.
Nationally, the BLS projects employment for computer and information technology professionals to grow 13% through 2026, which is nearly double the rate of the growth for all professions. Majoring in fields like computer programming or management information systems positions you for lucrative jobs. For example, the median computer and information system manager earned $139,220 in 2017.
NursingNursing students take courses in providing critical care, working with patients suffering from addiction, and human anatomy. They must also complete a clinical experience to qualify for licensure. Many states require registered nurses to hold at least an associate degree, while nurse practitioners must hold a master's.
Healthcare AdministrationStudents majoring in healthcare administration go on to work in hospitals, health clinics, and private practice. During their studies, students explore topics such as healthcare finance, reimbursement systems, and the legal and ethical considerations of their professions. While you qualify for most entry-level and mid-level roles with a bachelor's, senior-level positions may require an advanced degree.
Management Information SystemsA student pursuing a degree in management information systems develops skills and knowledge in technology and business administration. For example, students may study computer programming languages in one course and project management best practices in another. This major prepares students for supervisory and managerial roles in information technology.
Resources for Online College Students in Vermont
Vermont Student Assistance Corporation: The VSAC is a comprehensive resource for online college students in Vermont. On its website, you can apply for state grants, review private scholarship opportunities, and compare student loan programs. The VSAC also offers detailed guidance on topics like saving for college, choosing a career, and filling out the FAFSA.
Vermont Agency of Education: The Vermont Agency of Education oversees public education in the state, including Vermont's public colleges and universities. In addition to providing resources for students and families and administering the state's Presidential Scholars program, the agency provides career and technical education at 15 sites across the state.
New England Board of Higher Education: The NEBHE administers the Tuition Break program, a regional collaboration that allows New England residents to receive discounts at public colleges in neighboring states. The board also collects financial aid resources from various state agencies and private foundations, making it easier for students to research scholarship and grant opportunities across states.
Community Colleges of Vermont: Vermont's community college system features 12 campuses across the state and extensive online options. Their web portal offers resources on choosing the right program, financing your education, and transferring credits to a four-year institution in the state. Students can also access academic and career services online.
University of Vermont Online and Distance Education: The University of Vermont offers a variety of programs online, including a master's in public health, an RN-to-BSN nursing program, and a healthcare administrator professional certificate program. Students can also take a single online course to pursue a professional interest, such as legal issues in higher education.