How We Create Opportunities for Vermonters

VSAC’s financial aid, loan services, and outreach programs are helping Vermonters to build something better

Our vision is to create opportunities for all Vermont students, but particularly for those—of any age—who believe that the doors to higher education are closed to them.

VSAC’s 529 COLLEGE SAVINGS PLAN

More than $350 million is invested in over 20,000 Vermont Higher Education Investment plan accounts as of December 2017.

VSAC NEED-BASED EDUCATION GRANTS

In 2017, VSAC awarded 12,378 need-based education grants (totaling $20.2 million) to Vermont students.

VSAC SCHOLARSHIPS

In 2017, VSAC administered 130 scholarships funded by public or private sources—funding over 3,000 awards worth more than $5.7 million during the 2016-2017 academic year.

VSAC LOAN SERVICES

VSAC’s FY17 financing:

  • VSAC issued $43.8 million in its Vermont Advantage loans and serviced $865.7 million in federal and private loans
  • Borrower benefit programs saved borrowers over $2.1 million last year and $176 million since 1995
  • Offered the Vermont Advantage loan for Vermont students and parents at rates currently lower than the federal PLUS loan
  • Launched the Vermont Advantage Loan Coach Program: free, in-depth personalized education debt counseling as borrowers begin repayment

VSAC COMMUNITY OUTREACH

In 2016-17, VSAC:

  • Counseled more than 6,263 low-income and/or first-generation, college-bound Vermont students of all ages through three federal grants: Talent Search, GEAR UP and Educational Opportunity Center (EOC)
    • 88 percent of Talent Search and 69 percent of GEAR UP priority participants who graduated from high school in 2017 continued their education in the fall
    • Nearly 1,800 Vermont adults used the EOC program and 67% enrolled in postsecondary education
  • Almost 4,000 middle school and high school students were served by GEAR UP partnerships, leveraging VSAC’s federal resources by partnering with Vermont colleges and organizations throughout the state
  • Served approximately 200 first-year Vermont students attending colleges both in- and out-of-state through VSAC’s innovative GUIDE program, which helps students transition successfully to college and improve first-year retention rates
  • Conducted Paying for College workshops at 76 high schools, reaching more than 1,600 high school students and parents, and assisted 1,226 individuals in completing financial aid forms
  • Hosted nearly 1,000 Vermont high school students and parents at Vermont’s premier annual college planning and financing event, College Pathways, on 3 Vermont college campuses
  • Distributed financial aid materials, adult student handbooks, and scholarship booklets to 650 Vermont schools, libraries, and agencies
  • VSAC staff provided training to 344 education professionals on the topics of career exploration, college planning, and applying for financial aid
  • Launched our 4th Aspiration Project program at Twinfield Union School to help increase awareness of career and postsecondary education opportunities and available financial aid resources among  students and their parents

Learn more about how VSAC influences higher education policy in Vermont > 

VSAC 2017 Annual Report

Download VSAC’s 2017 Annual Report.

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