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.


More than $280 million is invested in over 17,000 Vermont Higher Education Investment plan accounts as of August 2016.


In 2016, VSAC awarded 13,030 need-based education grants (totaling $20 million) to Vermont students.


In 2016, VSAC administered 160+ scholarships funded by public or private sources—funding 3,200 awards worth more than $5.9 million during the 2015-2016 academic year.


VSAC’s FY16 financing:

  • VSAC issued $34.8 million in its Vermont Advantage loans and serviced $991 million in federal and private loans
  • Borrower benefit programs saved borrowers over $2.6 million last year and $174.7 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


In 2015-16, VSAC:

  • Counseled more than 5,730 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)
    • 83 percent of Talent Search and 68 percent of GEAR UP priority participants who graduated from high school in 2015 continued their education in the fall
    • Nearly 1,800 Vermont adults used the EOC program and 7 out of 10 participants enrolled in postsecondary education
  • Over 5,000 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 194 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 65 high schools, reaching more than 2,490 high school students and parents, and held 70 work sessions to assist 1,368 individuals who returned to get help in completing financial aid forms
  • Hosted 1,200 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 1,184 education professionals on the topics of career exploration, college planning and applying for financial aid
  • Launched our 3rd Aspiration Project program at Hazen Union High School to help increase awareness of career and postsecondary education opportunities and available financial aid resources among HUHS students and their parents

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

VSAC 2015 Annual Report

Download VSAC’s 2015 Annual Report.