Become an early childhood educator in Vermont—tuition free.

An interest-free, forgivable loan which pays 100% of tuition

A program for early childhood educators   

CL5.pngAre you creative, caring, high-energy, and looking for a job that’s different every day? Then a career in early childhood education may be right for you. And there’s no better time to get the degree you’ll need.

VSAC and the Vermont Department of Children and Families have teamed up to offer a new program that covers full tuition to qualified recipients pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree program in early childhood education or early childhood special education.  

Funded by the Vermont Legislature, the Scholarship Program for Prospective Early Childhood Educators (Interest-Free, Forgivable Loan) is open to students pursuing a degree at one of these participating institutions, starting in the fall of 2022.

Click on the school you're interested in to visit their program page:

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Funding will be awarded to qualifying applicants with financial need on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds have been depleted.

Awards are in the form of an interest-free loan which is forgiven when the recipient signs a promissory note and has completed the following work obligations:

Contact Child Development Division | Department for Children and Families for more information on work obligation requirements and for a list of qualified programs.

 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?  

  • Vermont & non-Vermont residents
  • Must demonstrate financial need
  • Pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or early childhood special education
  • Enrolled at least half time at participating schools
  • Preference given to students in final year of program
  • Neither be a simultaneous recipient of funding from the Vermont T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Program or the Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program for the early Childhood Workforce (established by Act 45) for the same degree you are now pursuing.

 

HOW MUCH IS THE AWARD?

Full tuition at eligible schools!

 

WHEN CAN I TAKE COURSES?  

The program covers courses beginning fall 2022.

 

HOW DO I APPLY?

  1. Complete the Unified Scholarship Application online through your MyVSAC account. For detailed information about the application, refer to pages 1–4 of the Scholarships for Vermonters booklet
  2. Complete the FAFSA for the academic year you’re attending or planning to attend a qualifying program.
  3. If selected as a recipient by the selection committee, recipients sign a promissory note when they accept funding that commits them to the following work arrangements. The loan will be forgiven when both of these work obligations are met:

    Contact Child Development Division | Department for Children and Families for more information on work obligation requirements and for a list of qualified programs.

 

WHEN SHOULD I APPLY?

  • First application priority date (funding permitted): May 31
  • Second priority date (funding permitted): July 15
  • Third priority date (funding permitted): November 18

APPLICATIONS WILL BE REVIEWED UNTIL ALL FUNDS HAVE BEEN AWARDED.

 

WHEN WILL I KNOW IF I'VE BEEN SELECTED?

Applicants who submit all required documents:

  • by May 31, will be notified by mid-July
  • by July 15, will be notified by mid-August
  • by November 18, will be notified by mid-December

 

WHAT IS AN INTEREST-FREE FORGIVABLE LOAN?

The State of Vermont offers several forgivable loan programs to encourage students to enter the Vermont workforce in specific high-demand fields. These unique loans:

  • Are interest free.
  • Require awarded students to sign a promissory note committing to specific work obligations when they accept the funding.
  • Do not require payment while the student is enrolled in the applicable degree or training program.
  • Are “forgiven” — which means that the loan does not have to be paid back — when the student meets the work obligations outlined in the promissory note they signed.
  • Must be repaid if the student doesn't complete the program, doesn't receive their license, or doesn't work in the field in Vermont following licensure.

For example: Mary received $16,000 in a nursing forgivable loan program to study nursing at Vermont Tech for her senior year. Upon completion of the program, Mary took her nursing exams and received her license and began working as a nurse in Vermont. One year later her employment was verified, and the loan was forgiven!

 

IS THERE OTHER FUNDING AVAILABLE?

Yes!  Check out these other early education funding opportunities for 2022–2023 available through VSAC and other Vermont agencies.

 

QUESTIONS:

  • about the scholarship application or status? Contact VSAC or call 888-253-4819.
  • about eligible places of employment? Contact VTAEYC or call (802) 234-1090.
  • about available programs at participating schools? Contact your school directly.