Talent Search

Serving high-potential Vermont middle and high school students who are interested in pursuing education beyond high school

Since 1969, VSAC Talent Search has been providing career and college planning services to students who meet income guidelines and have an interest in pursuing education or training beyond high school.

The VSAC Talent Search program helps students to explore career and postsecondary education options, to succeed in and to graduate from high school, and to enroll in education programs after high school. 

Outcomes include:

  • 99% of Talent Search students graduate from high school on time.
  • 79% of seniors (class of 2019) enrolled in postsecondary programs the year following graduation.
  • 55% of students completed a postsecondary program within 6 years.

Talent Search is a U.S. Department of Education federally funded TRIO program. More than 309,900 students are enrolled in 473 Talent Search TRIO programs across the US. Learn more about TRIO >



Talent Search counselors work at 46 Vermont middle and high schools in 11 of 14 Vermont counties, scheduling monthly meetings for students in grades 6–12. Students must attend a school that is part of the Talent Search program and meet certain criteria, including:

  • be motivated to attend postsecondary education 
  • meet income guidelines set by the federal Department of Education
  • be a first-generation college student (neither parent has a bachelor’s degree)

Talent Search serves approximately 1,000 students each year. Talent Search counselors work directly with students and also with parents and guardians, school counselors, and other educators in students’ lives. 



VSAC Talent Search offers students:

  • counseling support for career and college planning
  • academic support and advising on high school courses
  • assistance with college applications, including standardized test advising
  • fee waivers for standardized tests and college applications
  • assistance understanding financial aid and help completing applications

We also offer:

  • parent events
  • college visits
  • summer enrichment programs



Students are typically nominated to participate in the VSAC Talent Search program. If you're a student—or the parent of a student—interested in this program, talk to your school counselor or complete this referral form and the Talent Search counselor in your region will follow up. 

Talent Search serves these Vermont schools:

  • Addison County: Mt. Abraham MS/HS, Middlebury Union HS, Vergennes MS/HS
  • Bennington County: Arlington Memorial HS, Mt. Anthony MS/HS
  • Caledonia County: Hazen HS, Lyndon Town School, Lyndon Institute, Millers Run MS, Sutton MS
  • Chittenden County: Edmunds MS, Lyman Hunt MS, Burlington HS, Milton MS, Milton HS
  • Franklin County: Montgomery Ctr. School, Missisquoi Valley Union MS/HS, Enosburg Falls MS/HS, Berkshire Elementary, BFA–Fairfax, BFA–St. Albans
  • Lamoille County: Lamoille Union MS/HS, Peoples Academy
  • Orange County: Randolph MS/HS, Williamstown MS/HS
  • Rutland County: Rutland MS/HS, Otter Valley HS
  • Washington County: Barre City MS, Barre Town MS, Twinfield HS, Spaulding HS, Northfield MS/HS, U-32 HS
  • Windham County: Bellows Falls MS/HS, Leland & Gray HS, Brattleboro MS/HS
  • Windsor County: White River Valley MS, White River Valley HS, Windsor MS/HS, Hartford MS/HS

We also offer a wealth of information and guidance for students and parents right on this website. Get more guidance > 


Student Success Stories

Read about some students who participated in Talent Search.

Kelsey Stratton, who attended Randolph Union High School and Northern Vermont University Lyndon

Cassandra Bittner, who attended BFA St. Albans and Champlain College

Jeff Virge, who attended Spaulding High School and Castleton University