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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:

  • 100% of Talent Search students (class of 2023) graduated from high school on time.
  • 80% of seniors (class of 2023) enrolled in postsecondary programs the year following graduation.
  • 59% of students (class of 2017) 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.


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. 

Vermont Talent Search Student Referral Form

Talent Search serves these Vermont schools:

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

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

Get more support

Student Success Stories

Read about some students who participated in Talent Search.

Calleen Ferris, who attended high school in Randolph and Fairfax, and VTSU Johnson

Devon Kimball, who attended Vergennes Union High School and VTSU Castleton

Mersadies Shantie, who attended Enosburg Falls High School and Champlain College

 Vermont Talent Search Helps Students Get to College