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How We Influence Policy
VSAC’s Research Department plays a critical role in solving issues surrounding higher education in Vermont. For 35 years, our expert researchers have worked to collect and analyze data from state and national sources—including Vermont students themselves—in order to provide Vermont policymakers with deeper insights into the complexities of the postsecondary experience in our state. Our reports help to facilitate informed decision-making around Vermont education policy and investment of the state’s resources.
Early College Data Review 2016–2021
This report (funded by the Vermont Community Foundation) is a collaboration between VSAC and the Vermont Agency of Education. The report summarizes Vermont data around Early College since its implementation in 2016 and aims to inform future directions for Early College policy and practice.
Final Follow-up of Vermont High School Class of 2012
Read the final installment of our series regarding the postsecondary enrollment and completion of the Vermont High School Class of 2012. In this report, we show the postsecondary outcomes of the Class of 2012 within six years of high school graduation.
Spring Enrollment Plans During COVID-19
The majority of FAFSA filers surveyed in January 2021 (86%) planned to and did pursue their education plans in the 2020-2021 academic year. But the COVID-19 crisis affected many students’ financial resources and may have made the postsecondary experience a difficult one.
Postsecondary Enrollment & Completion of Students Enrolled at a Two-Year School
Today’s workforce landscape is changing faster than ever. These changes are only being further accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis as communities face critical skill shortages in healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and other essential services. The current postsecondary climate highlights opportunities for institutions that offer two-year programs.
VSAC: COVID-19 had little impact on VT students’ plans to attend college in the fall
COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on the lives of beginning and returning college students. But according to a survey of rising high school seniors and returning college students who completed a Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) conducted in June and then again in July by Vermont Student Assistance Corp., students’ decisions about whether to attend school or alter their plans remained for the most part unchanged.
VSAC HIGHER EDUCATION FACT SHEETS FOR VERMONT COUNTIES
Download VSAC By the Numbers and our higher education fact sheets for Vermont counties, FY2021, to learn more about county-specific research trends—and to see how we’re helping students across the state:
VSAC By the Numbers (PDF)
Addison County (PDF)
Bennington County (PDF)
Caledonia County (PDF)
Chittenden County (PDF)
Essex County (PDF)
Franklin County (PDF)
Grand Isle County (PDF)
Lamoille County (PDF)
Orange County (PDF)
Orleans County (PDF)
Rutland County (PDF)
Washington County (PDF)
Windham County (PDF)
Windsor County (PDF)
VSAC survey shows how COVID-19 has impacted students’ college plans
While most rising and current college students still plan to enroll this fall, the survey suggests that the pandemic’s financial toll on families, through job losses and the like, is creating significant angst about students’ ability to pay for higher education.
Vermont State GEAR UP GUIDE Program
The GUIDE program is a component of Vermont State GEAR UP that aims to improve postsecondary outcomes by supporting high school graduates during the transition into and through their first year of postsecondary education. This report includes an overview of the GUIDE program, findings from the first two cohorts of participating students (2013 and 2014 high school graduates), and a discussion of lessons learned and future directions.
Follow-up: The Vermont High School Class of 2012 Postsecondary Enrollment & Completion within Four Years of Graduation
This report looks at the Class of 2012 four years after high school graduation, and discusses some of the factors associated with the timely completion of a degree. The focus is on students who started full-time at a four-year institution.
First Look: Vermont Senior Survey Class of 2016
Initial findings for the Vermont High School Class of 2016 Senior Survey, including new data that explores math courses beyond Algebra II and students’ postsecondary aspiration.
2017 Nondegree grant program survey
Vermont’s landmark nondegree grant program pays off in career opportunities and employment gains.
Legislative report on the VSAC Nondegree Grant Program, and the positive impact these grants have on aspects of Vermonters’ lives, including employment, salary and wages, and future education plans.
PAST VERMONT SENIOR SURVEY REPORTS
Our research has been uncovering the nature of education trends in Vermont for years. Download past VSAC surveys of Vermont high school seniors to learn more:
Vermont’s Class of 2012: Highlights and Challenges for Pursuing Postsecondary Education
Two reports take an in-depth look at postsecondary aspirations, enrollment and persistence rates in a cohort of high school seniors, with a special focus on the differences in these rates by gender and parental educational attainment.
Vermont students increasingly drawn toward higher education—findings from VSAC survey of Vermont high school class of 2008 (planned activities)
First-generation college-going rates increase in last decade—findings from VSAC survey of Vermont high school class of 2008 (actual activities)
Vermont students understand value of higher education—findings from VSAC survey of Vermont high school class of 2007
Parents’ hopes trump college background in students’ postsecondary decisions—findings from VSAC survey of Vermont high school class of 2005