With the increase of online colleges in Vermont, it is clear that the state has impressive goals when it comes to higher education. The state has a solid reputation when it comes to high school graduation rates and the percentage of residents with college degrees. Even so, the state remains focused on improvement.
Vermont has launched an initiative to increase the number of working-age residents with a postsecondary degree or credential of value to 70% by 2025. To meet its goal, the state is focused on promoting awareness of career pathways and educational value, expanding access, and providing support so that higher education is more attainable to all Vermont residents.
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The state’s dedication to higher education is a clear priority, through this new initiative, as well as its already robust online college programs and generous financial aid packages.
Online Colleges in Vermont
For Vermont students who are already balancing a career and family, the rigors of college can be especially challenging. Online learning provides a convenient alternative that can fit around their existing schedules.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that 23% of college students in Vermont were enrolled exclusively in online courses, and another 17.5% were participating in a hybrid of online and on-campus courses. The numbers continue to rise as colleges increase their online offerings. This also includes enrollment at community colleges in Vermont.
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Various colleges offer both degree and certification programs in fully online and hybrid formats. Master’s degrees are available in a variety of subjects as well. You can even find some unique certification programs and courses at select schools, such as Business of Craft Beer, Facebook Digital Marketing, and Introduction to Beekeeping.
Vermont’s private colleges also offer robust online programs including over 60 degree and certificate programs, all available fully online.
At the community college level, students can choose from more than 300 courses each semester in areas like art and design, computer information systems, biology, humanities, social sciences, and more. It is common for some students to take at least one online course, and many complete their degree programs entirely online.
Common Online Degrees in Vermont
There are several types of online degrees offered by Vermont colleges and universities that may help prepare you for your desired career, such as:
- Public Administration: A public administration online degree that typically involves the study of public policies and programs to prepare professionals for various careers in the field, such as urban planner, administrative services manager, or city manager.
- Accounting: This online degree introduces students to accounting principles and practices, such as auditing and tax accounting, to prepare students for a career as an accountant, budget analyst, or similar roles.
- Business Administration: Students learn about business management theories and practices and develop key leadership and organizational skills essential to business management positions.
- Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity foundations and information technology fundamentals are explored to teach students about network security and risk analysis and evaluation to prepare students for cybersecurity jobs, such as information security analyst, network administrator, or similar roles.
- Nursing: An online nursing degree helps to prepare students to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam to practice as a registered nurse, and includes coursework in patient care technologies, evidence-based practice, and patient assessment.
There are other online programs available, but these are some of the most popular or common programs typically offered fully online.
Overview of Higher Education in Vermont
Vermont is home to 17 degree-granting institutions, according to a report by the NCES. Of these, 5 are public, 11 are private non-profit and 1 is private for-profit.
The cost to attend one of the state’s 4-year public institutions is around $17,593 for residents, according to the NCES. Nonresidents will pay $41,963, on average. Both tuition rates are the highest in the nation.
Students whose chosen major is not offered at a Vermont college may be able to take advantage of the Regional Student Program (RSP) Tuition Break which is available through the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE).
This program allows students in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont to save thousands of dollars and enables the states to expand and diversify their academic programs without costly duplication.
Employment Outlook for College Graduates in Vermont
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 283,990 professionals employed across the state. The annual median salary of all occupations combined was $46,904, which is slightly higher than the national annual median salary. Vermont has a 2.8% unemployment rate, which is lower than the national unemployment rate.
Occupational groups with the highest number of individuals employed include office and administrative support, sales and related occupations, and educational instruction and library. Vermont careers with the highest number of individuals employed that typically require a bachelor’s degree for entry include general operations managers, registered nurses, and elementary school teachers.
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Based on BLS data, industries with the highest positive 12-month percentage change in the state include professional and business services, information, and government.
Careers & Salaries in Vermont
Earning an online degree in Vermont may give you access to more job opportunities and the potential to receive a higher salary.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the annual median salaries of careers in Vermont that may be attainable with a bachelor’s degree:
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Accountants and Auditors||$69,530|
|Social and Community Service Managers||$61,900|
|Public Relations Specialists||$50,050|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||$36,840|
Job availability can differ depending on your level of education or work experience and where you live in the state. Salaries can also differ depending on the specific job title, employer, location, level of education, and work experience.
Some positions may be more readily available than others. According to Think Vermont, the top 3 key industries in the state include consumer goods and sales, software and technology, and healthcare.
Online Vermont Colleges Admissions Requirements
Admissions requirements can vary between schools and programs, but these are some general admissions requirements for VT colleges and universities online:
- Official transcripts
- SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)
- Minimum GPA (only some schools require it)
Official transcripts are usually required to allow admissions offices to review prior coursework completed. If an institution has a minimum GPA requirement, it may use your official transcripts to determine admissions eligibility.
Some schools may request SAT or ACT scores to determine placement level or admissions eligibility, but many schools no longer require these for admissions.
Online Colleges in VT Accreditation
The accreditation status of VT online colleges can affect many opportunities for students, such as federal financial aid eligibility and employment or future education opportunities.
Colleges and universities can seek accreditation from a regional accrediting organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Regional accrediting organizations conduct rigorous assessments of postsecondary institutions and the services they provide to students.
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Colleges and universities aren’t required to seek accreditation, but accreditation proves an institution has met national quality educational standards.
You can find a list of accredited institutions and additional information about accreditation on the U.S. Department of Education website.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
If you’re planning to pursue a degree at one of the best colleges in VT, the first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Another type of popular financial aid is grants and scholarships, which never have to be paid back. Vermont residents have the benefit of the Vermont Student Assistance Corp (VSAC), a nonprofit public corporation created to provide the information and financial resources necessary to pursue postsecondary education.
VSAC administers the following grant programs for residents:
- Advancement Grant: This program is for students enrolled in a non-degree (non-matriculated) course or program that will improve his/her ability to get a job or that encourages further study.
- Vermont Incentive Grant: This is for students enrolled full-time in an undergraduate or certificate program that is approved by the U.S. Department of Education to participate in the Federal Title IV aid programs.
- Vermont Part-Time Grant: This program is intended for students enrolled part-time in an undergraduate or certificate program that is approved by the U.S. Department of Education to participate in the Federal Title IV aid programs.
Each fall, VSAC compiles a booklet with information about more than 140 scholarships open to Vermont residents. You can view the booklet online or request a printed copy.
Here are some scholarships you may find in the booklet:
- American Institute of Architects Vermont Scholar Promise Award: $1000
- Helen K. and Robert T. Stafford Scholarship: Up to $1000
- Nichols Family Scholarship: (2) $6000
- RehabGYM Scholarship: Up to $1000
- Ted Bridges Hospitality Scholarship: Up to (2) $1000
- The Tatarczuch Family Scholarship: Up to $5000
It can be a good idea to check with the financial aid office at the school you have chosen. They may be able to tell you about additional aid programs, like grants and scholarships, available to admitted students.
Vermont Online Education Resources
These Vermont education resources may give you helpful information about college and career preparation:
- Vermont Higher Education Collaborative: This organization offers information on degree programs and courses, degree-specific scholarships, and financial aid opportunities.
- Vermont Student Assistance Corporation: This website provides resources on grants and scholarships, college and career pathways, and online workshops and video lessons.
- Vermont Higher Education Collaborative: You can find information on financial aid, such as scholarships and grant programs, along with workshops and degree programs, and courses offered.
Utilizing these resources may help you better navigate your college preparation experience or map out your desired career path.
How Much Does It Cost to Go to an Online College in Vermont?
The cost of college can vary depending on the institution, type of degree, and where you’re located. Out-of-state tuition is typically higher than in-state tuition, but online college tuition rates may be lower compared to the cost of tuition for out-of-state students enrolled in on-campus programs.
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According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in-state tuition and required fees for Vermont public colleges and universities are around $17,593. Out-of-state public college tuition is around $41,963. Although tuition is usually cheaper for online degree programs, additional distance learning fees may apply.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
Out-of-state tuition is often thousands of dollars higher than in-state tuition, but opportunities to help cut down the cost of tuition may be available.
Many states and institutions participate in state reciprocity programs that allow colleges and universities to reduce tuition rates for out-of-state residents. Vermont is one of six states that participate in the New England Board of Higher Education’s Tuition Break program.
The Tuition Break program allows eligible out-of-state students living in one of the participating states to pay no more than 175% of a participating institution’s in-state tuition rate. Eligibility for the program can depend on where you live, the institution you may be admitted to, and your desired program of study.
The New England Board of Higher Education provides search tools you can use to review participating colleges and degree programs.
What Jobs Are in High Demand in Vermont?
There are a number of jobs in Vermont that may be more readily available or easier to access because they’re in high demand.
According to the Vermont Department of Labor, these jobs are expected to have the most annual openings over the next seven years:
- General and operations managers
- Social and human services assistant
- Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
These positions are the most in-demand jobs in Vermont that typically require some postsecondary education or a bachelor’s degree for entry.
What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in Vermont?
According to the BLS, these are the annual median salaries of the highest-paying jobs in Vermont that typically require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree for entry:
- Actuary: $140,629
- Chief executive: $132,434
- Computer hardware engineer: $127,691
- Architectural and engineering manager: $127,150
Salaries can vary depending on the level of education and how much relevant work experience one has. A considerable amount of work experience in one’s field is typically required to achieve a management or senior-level position.
List of Online Colleges in Vermont
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Champlain College offers a variety of online degree programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s levels. Common majors include management information systems, accounting, software development, business management, marketing and communication, computer and information systems, human resource management, computer forensics, and cybersecurity.
Champlain College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Norwich University offers numerous online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs designed for adult learners with responsibilities at work and home. Bachelor’s degree options include business administration, interdisciplinary studies, computer science and information systems, national security studies, criminal justice, strategic studies and defense analysis, cybersecurity, and RN to BSN.
Norwich University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The School for International Training offers an immersive virtual learning environment. Degree programs include a Doctorate in Global Education, an MA in International Education, and an MA in Global Health. Online opportunities are offered to participate in internships and to study indigenous and less commonly taught languages. Some online programs may include face-to-face components.
SIT is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Vermont offers a number of online degree programs. Popular options include accounting, business administration, computer science information systems, data science, nutrition and food sciences, economics, community entrepreneurship, and exercise science. UVM’s academic programs tend to provide an interdisciplinary education.
The University of Vermont is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Vermont Law and Graduate School offers a hybrid JD program that is mostly online but includes 3 brief residential sessions. Online master’s degrees are also offered in environmental policy, climate and environmental policy, animal protection policy, environmental law and policy, energy regulation and law, and more.
Vermont Law School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.
Vermont State University–Castleton offers flexible academic programs with options to study remotely or at multiple campus locations. The program facilitates the blending of in-person and online classes to best fit scheduling needs. Possible majors for online programs include applied business, business administration, criminal justice, secondary education, early childhood education, and more.
Vermont State University – Castleton is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Vermont State University–Johnson offers over 105 academic programs, with flexible and remote learning options. The school’s In-Person Plus program is designed to facilitate a mix of face-to-face and online study. Fully online degree programs include a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Science in Athletic Leadership, a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health, and more.
Vermont State University – Johnson is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Vermont State University–Lyndon offers online degree programs in areas such as applied business, business administration, criminal justice, general studies, holistic health, and interdisciplinary studies. Programs are also available in a hybrid format that offer some classes on campus and the benefits of both in-person and online learning.
Vermont State University – Lyndon is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Vermont State University–Randolph offers online degree programs. Degree options include an Associate of Science and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and an Associate of Arts in General Studies. There is also a degree completion program for applicants with some college credit, which is designed to lead to a Bachelor of Science in Applied Business.
Vermont State University – Randolph is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Vermont State University–Williston offers online degree programs. These include a degree completion program to earn an Associate of Arts in General Studies and an Associate of Science and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Other programs on offer include a Bachelor of Science in Applied Business and a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health.
Vermont State University – Williston is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Getting Your Online Degree in Vermont
Despite its low population, Vermont is packed with exceptional schools, plenty of online learning opportunities, and financial aid to help with costs. It’s clear that Vermont values higher education.
When you’re ready to take the next step in your educational journey, it may be a good idea to research accredited Vermont online colleges that offer your chosen degree program.