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 $447 million is invested in over 23,786 Vermont Higher Education Investment plan accounts as of April 2019.

VSAC NEED-BASED EDUCATION GRANTS

In 2019–2020, VSAC awarded 11,806 need-based education grants (totaling $19.5 million) to Vermont students.

VSAC SCHOLARSHIPS

VSAC administered 121 scholarships funded by public or private sources—funding nearly 3,500 awards worth more than $6.1 million during the 2019–2020 academic year.

VSAC LOAN SERVICES

VSAC’s FY20 financing:

  • VSAC issued $50.1 million in its Vermont Advantage loans and serviced $644 million in federal and private loans
  • Borrower benefit programs have saved borrowers more than $181 million since 1995
  • Offered the Vermont Advantage loan for Vermont students and parents
  • Provided Vermont Advantage loan coaching: free, in-depth personalized education debt counseling as borrowers begin repayment

VSAC COMMUNITY OUTREACH

In 2019–2020, VSAC:

  • Counseled 6,949 low-income and/or first-generation, college-bound Vermont students of all ages through the VSAC Aspirations Project, special projects with the McClure Foundation and three federal grants: Talent Search, GEAR UP and Educational Opportunity Center. 
    • 79% of Talent Search and 70% of GEAR UP participants who graduated from high school in 2018 continued their education in the fall.
    • More than 1,670 Vermont adults enrolled in the EOC program and 90% enrolled in postsecondary education; the program assisted an additional 1,438 people throughout Vermont.
  • Middle school and high school students from all over Vermont were served by GEAR UP partnerships, including Vermont Afterschool, Governor’s Institutes of Vermont, Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative, University of Vermont, and Community College of Vermont’s Introduction to College & Careers.
  • Served approximately 324 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. Additionally, approximately 900 GEAR UP postsecondary students received GEAR UP’s renewable scholarship.
  • Assisted 3,453 Vermonters in managing college costs and completing financial aid forms during high school workshops, college events, and individual appointments.
  • 8,152 students, parents, education professionals, and adults returning to learning attended or accessed resources and workshops through Vermont’s premier annual college planning and financing event, College Pathways, on 2 Vermont college campuses and online.
  • Distributed financial aid materials, adult student handbooks, and scholarship booklets to 650 Vermont schools, libraries, and agencies.
  • VSAC staff provided training to 397 education professionals on the topics of career exploration, college planning, and applying for financial aid.

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

 

VSAC 2020 Annual Report

Download VSAC’s 2020 annual report.