- Vermont State Colleges System, Accessed May 2017, https://www.vsc.edu/
- History and Traditions, The University of Vermont, Accessed May 2017, https://www.uvm.edu/history_and_traditions
- Fast Facts, Southern Vermont University, Accessed May 2017, https://svc.edu/about/fast-facts/
- The Legacy of Norwich, Norwich University, Accessed May 2017, http://about.norwich.edu/legacy/
- Champlain at a Glance, Champlain College, Accessed May 2017, http://www.champlain.edu/about-champlain/quick-facts-and-history
- Quick Facts, Middlebury, Accessed May 2017, http://www.middlebury.edu/about/facts
- Student Life: The CSJ Family, College of St. Joseph, Accessed May 2017, https://www.csj.edu/students/
- Fast Facts, Vermont Tech, Accessed May 2017, http://www.vtc.edu/meet-vtc/fast-facts
- Welcome to Lyndon State College, Lyndon State College, Accessed May 2017, http://lyndonstate.edu/about/overview/
- Quick Facts, Castleton University, Accessed May 2017, http://www.castleton.edu/about-castleton/quick-facts/
- Quick Facts, About Johnson State College, Accessed May 2017, http://www.jsc.edu/who-we-are/about-johnson-state/in-depth/quick-facts/
- Student Aid Options, Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, Accessed May 2017, http://www.vsac.org/pay/student-aid-options/
- Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. Copyright © 2017-18 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.
Tucked away in New England are a number of quality colleges and universities. Whether students in Vermont want to live on campus or earn an online bachelor's degree, there are plenty of options from which to choose. The schools of Vermont include public, private and online institutions.
Vermont State Colleges is the state's public system of higher education, and every Vermonter lives within 25 miles of a member institution's classroom. The five schools within the system include a community college, state colleges and a university. A direct admissions program allows students to easily transfer credits from the Community College of Vermont to a four-year institution.
There are also 15 member schools within the Association of Vermont Independent Colleges. These institutions may identify with a specific religious tradition or be nonsectarian. Beyond those, there are online colleges for Vermont which may be based outside the state but still enroll residents in distance education classes.
Best 4-Year Colleges in Vermont
To identify the best schools in the state, we analyzed colleges and universities for their costs, degree availability, flexible learning options, and several other important factors that matter to students. We calculated these factors using data from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics.
The number one school in the state is also the largest. Enrolling nearly 13,000 students in 2015, The University of Vermont identifies itself as a quasi-public school that blends the traditions of a public and private university. Although the school receives state funding, it is not a part of the Vermont State Colleges System.
UVM ranks first in the state for the number of academic programs it offers. What's more, it ranks third for the number of programs available via distance education. Not only do students have plenty of choices, but they are likely to be successful in their studies as well. UVM has the second best graduation rate in Vermont.
The University of Vermont was chartered in 1791 and has its campus in Burlington.
Vermont Tech, as Vermont Technical College is called, does a good job of keeping costs down and bringing students back after their first year. The school ranks second in the state for its retention rate. It is also second for the cost of its books and supplies. Its graduates have the lowest median level of student debt of any Vermont school surveyed.
The college prides itself on offering a personal, practical education. Its degree programs are focused on fields that have specific career objectives such as nursing, agriculture and computer technology. The student to teacher ratio at Vermont Technical College is 12:1. In addition to bachelor's degrees, the school awards associate degrees and certificates.
As one of the Vermont State Colleges, Vermont Tech has its main campus in Randolph Center and maintains 11 other campuses and distance sites elsewhere in the state.
Lyndon State College tops the list as the most affordable school in Vermont. It ranks number one for the sticker price of its tuition and fees and number two for the cost of books and supplies. Its average net price is the second best in the state and its average net price for low-income students is the third best.
Students can enroll in online, night and weekend courses through the Lyndon Flex program. The school also offers a number of two-year, four-year and graduate degree programs on its campus. These include popular options such as business and psychology as well as less common fields like mountain recreation management. The school handed out more bachelor's degrees in music than any other major in 2015.
Founded in 1911, Lyndon State College is part of the Vermont State Colleges and is based in Lyndonville.
Castleton is a university within the Vermont State Colleges system. It was also the state's first institution of higher learning, having been founded in 1787. While you won't find online Vermont degree programs at Castleton University, it does have more than 75 on-campus programs.
This university ranks third in the state for both its tuition and fees and its average net price. Books and supplies are also affordable, ranking the second best in the state. Students have access to remedial support, academic counseling and career placement services. Adult learners could benefit from a policy that allows credit for some life experiences.
At its campus in Castleton, the university enrolls students from more than 40 countries and has a 14:1 student to faculty ratio.
Johnson State College ties with Lyndon State College for having the best tuition and fees in the state. Once financial aid is factored, the college also ranks first for the average net price its students pay. Thanks to its JSC Online and JSC in Your Community programs, Johnson State College had the third highest percentage of students enrolled in distance education.
The school offers associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs in dozens of academic areas. Popular fields of study include business, history and political science. Johnson State College has more than 20 student clubs on-campus, and its athletic teams compete in the NCAA Division III.
Originally created as an elementary and secondary school in 1828, Johnson State College is now one of the Vermont State Colleges located in Johnson.
As one of the most highly regarded liberal arts colleges in the nation, Middlebury College has a long legacy of quality education. It was founded in 1800 and is now known for rigorous academics, a commitment to sustainability and a focus on the arts.
Middlebury College is the best school in Vermont when it comes to helping students successfully graduate. It ranks first for both its retention and graduation rates. Despite having a higher sticker price than other Vermont institutions, the school keeps student costs reasonable by offering more institutional grant aid than any other college or university in the state, as calculated as a percentage of tuition and fees. As a result, it has the lowest average net price in Vermont.
The college is a private institution and has its campus in Middlebury.
Champlain College is one of the best online colleges for Vermont and ranks first for the number of distance education programs it offers. Its online college offers more than 60 certificate, associate, bachelor and master degree programs. Using 7 and 8-week courses, the online format allows many students to earn their degree at an accelerated pace.
Including its on-campus programs, the college offers instruction in more than 80 subject areas. It ranks third in the state for the total number of academic programs available. Champlain College says classes average 16 students and are capped at 30. Among the class of 2016, the vast majority — 95 percent — had successfully found career placement within six months of graduation.
Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a private institution with a campus in Burlington.
Another good choice for online Vermont degree programs is Norwich University. The school has the second greatest number of distance education programs in the state. It also ranks first for the percentage of students enrolled in distance education in 2015.
Norwich University says the education it provides is guided by principles that are American in character, global in perspective and based on attributes such service and mutual respect. Students include both civilians and cadets which make for a dynamic campus environment. Within its Corps of Cadets, students prepare for military service or jobs in the civilian world. Meanwhile, civilian students have the same college experience, minus the military training.
Located in Northfield, Norwich University was founded in 1819 and is a private institution.
The smallest top-ten school in Vermont is College of St. Joseph. With a student body of less than 350 in 2015, many on campus talk about being part of the CSJ family. Wednesdays are set aside as community days for academic work and community service. No classes are held, but students often gather with faculty for a family-style lunch on these days off.
CSJ ranks fifth for the amount of institutional grant aid it awards as a percentage of its tuition and fees. It also has the fourth best average net price in the state. The college has more than 40 majors and has weekend and night classes for those who need a flexible learning schedule. Students may also be eligible to gain credit for life experience.
College of St. Joseph is a private, Catholic institution founded in 1956. Its campus is in Rutland.
Southern Vermont College likes to say it's a small college offering big possibilities. Fewer than 500 students were enrolled in 2015, making this another good choice for students looking for a personalized experience. Located in Bennington near the Green Mountains, SVC boasts a beautiful location and miles of nearby trails.
The school ranks sixth for both the average net price for low-income students and the median debt carried by graduates. Southern Vermont College notes 96 percent of those enrolled receive financial aid. Students can create individualized degree programs from majors within five academic divisions.
SVC was founded as St. Joseph College in 1926. However, it was converted to a private, independent college in 1974. Today, it has no religious affiliation.
Most Popular Degree Programs in Vermont
If you're not sure which topic of study is right for you, consider that these are the most popular choices among Vermonters.
In-Demand Careers in Vermont
Regardless of whether you want to earn an online bachelor's degree in Vermont or study on campus, your goal is undoubtedly to get a job when you're done with school. Here's a look at some of the occupations expected to have the brightest prospects in the coming years.
|Career Title||Projected Job Growth||Total Employment||Annual Salary|
|Separating, Filtering, Clarifying, Precipitating, and Still Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders||65.3%||110||$43,210|
|Operations Research Analysts||32.8%||60||$78,300|
|Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic||29.5%||100||$45,360|
|Industrial Machinery Mechanics||28.5%||610||$49,610|
|Physical Therapist Assistants||26%||150||$52,120|
|Software Developers, Systems Software||25.9%||880||$107,830|
|Slaughterers and Meat Packers||25.6%||50||$30,340|
|Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders||25%||50||$29,610|
|Dental Laboratory Technicians||25%||170||$47,150|
|Food Processing Workers, All Other||24.6%||50||$30,850|
|Helpers--Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, and Tile and Marble Setters||23.6%||140||$34,260|
|Computer Systems Analysts||23.1%||480||$78,260|
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||23.1%||410||$68,470|
|Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs||22.7%||680||$24,860|
|Home Health Aides||22.1%||540||$27,500|
|Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals||22.1%||-||$31,140|
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||21.8%||1,520||$60,720|
|Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse||21%||240||$27,880|
|Cartographers and Photogrammetrists||20.6%||40||$54,850|
|Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians||20.4%||50||$49,660|
|Occupational Therapy Assistants||20%||80||$58,790|
|Physical Therapist Aides||20%||80||-|
|Interpreters and Translators||19.4%||160||$41,100|
|Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking, and Drying Machine Operators and Tenders||18.6%||180||$36,210|
|Food Scientists and Technologists||18.2%||60||$78,410|
Financial Aid and Scholarships in Vermont
The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) administers a number of grant, scholarship and loan programs. The Vermont Incentive Grant offers assistance to all residents with financial need. Other state programs, such as the VSAC Board of Directors Scholarship, have more narrow eligibility requirements. Vermont Advantage Loans are also available for those who need additional money to pay for a degree.
November 15 (Early Action admissions deadline)
Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 3.25 GPA and full-time status.
Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 3.6 GPA.
- Vermont State Colleges System
- Vermont Student Assistance Corporation
- Vermont Higher Education Council
- Association of Vermont Independent Colleges