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 $573 million is invested in 25,642 Vermont Higher Education Investment plan accounts as of June 2021.


In 2020–2021, VSAC awarded 11,551 need-based education grants (totaling $19.4 million) to Vermont students.


VSAC administered 121 scholarships funded by public or private sources—funding 5,834 awards worth more than $7.5 million during the 2020–2021 academic year.


VSAC’s FY21 financing:

  • VSAC issued $36.1 million in its Vermont Advantage loans and serviced $610 million in federal and private loans
  • Borrower benefit programs have saved borrowers more than $181.8 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


In 2020–2021, VSAC:

  • Counseled 6,365 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. 
    • 78% of Talent Search and 59% of GEAR UP participants who graduated from high school in 2020 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.
  • 43,000 Vermonters and other borrowers are assisted by VSAC financial counselors every year.
  • More than 1,000 parents and students attended free “Paying for College” sessions online, and 412 people tuned into College & Career Pathways virtual workshops. Recordings and webinars have received over 1,500 video views on YouTube.
  • Distributed financial aid materials, adult student handbooks, and scholarship booklets to 650 Vermont schools, libraries, and agencies.
  • VSAC staff provided training to 264 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 2021 Annual Report

Download VSAC’s 2021 annual report.