News & Updates for Education Professionals

  • Are your students applying for ALL the financial aid for which they're eligible? FAFSA, Vermont grant, and scholarship applications for the 2019-2020 year are available. Encourage your families to complete all three applications. Check the Financial aid updates tab below for more info. 
  • Content for newsletters, emails, and daily announcement messages: This month we're featuring financial aid application reminders and a save-the-date announcement about the new College & Career Pathways for 2019. See the tab below for details.
  • College & Career Pathways is changing! Read all about the new format and locations under the Save these event dates tab, and sign up now to pre-register your school. 

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Vermont Grant

Don't let your Vermont students leave money on the table! Encourage your students to do these 3 things during their December break:

High schools — Did you know that you can use the VSAC FAFSA Completion Tool to identify students who haven't completed their financial aid applications? Contact our grants department (800-882-4166) to ask us how. 

 

Scholarship Dates for 2019–2020 College Year 

The Unified Scholarship Application (USA) for all VSAC-assisted scholarships is now available, and you should have our updated scholarships booklet, which was mailed in October. The deadline for all VSAC-assisted scholarships listed in VSAC’s scholarships booklet is February 15, 2019.

 

MyVSAC 

Reminder: The log-in process for MyVSAC was changed for schools and students back in April 2018. If you need help logging into your school’s MyVSAC account, please contact School Services at 888-307-8722. 

 

Vermont's Statewide FAFSA Completion Goal: 65% of senior class 

VSAC is once again partnering with the Department of Education on a FAFSA completion initiative. How's your community doing? Use our FAFSA Completion Tool to find out.

And join VSAC's FAFSA Completion Challenge: Every high school in which 65% of the senior class completes a FAFSA will be entered into a drawing for $1,000 for a school-approved senior activity.  

 

FAFSA Updates

  • FAFSA Fridays Are Back

    Your parents and students can now complete the FAFSA at fafsa.gov for the 2019–2020 school year. If they need help, VSAC is at the ready: Every Friday in December and January between 10:00 am–3:00 pm, parents and students can come to the VSAC Resource Center in Winooski. We'll set them up at a computer and help them complete the application. Encourage them to walk in or call for an appointment.

  • VSAC's FAFSA Help Line

    If your families can't get to the VSAC Resource Center, urge them to call our toll-free FAFSA helpline at (1-833) 802VSAC, Monday–Friday, 8:00 am–4:30 pm.

  • Fall Forms Night at Vermont high schools

    Financial Aid Forms workshops are being scheduled through mid-December to provide families with help in completing the FAFSA. Dates are posted on our calendar (check often, as new locations are often added). Please promote your event by posting it on your website and e-mailing senior students and parents two weeks before your scheduled workshop.

Looking for financial aid resources?

We have what you need for your students & parents.

For newsletters, emails, or daily announcements 

Seniors and parents: Are you applying for all the financial aid for which you may be eligible? There's money waiting for you for college and career training—but you need to fill out the forms to apply. December break is a great time to get it done! 

  • The FAFSA. Families can get individual assistance during a phone call or an appointment with a VSAC counselor. Call 833-802-VSAC for more information, or go to vsac.org/FAFSAfirst
  • Vermont need-based grants. Last year, eligible students received from $1,000 to $12,200 in aid awards during the 2018-2019 academic year. Don't miss out—apply now at vsac.org/grants.
  • VSAC-assisted scholarships. VSAC administers more than 150 scholarships for Vermont students. Apply online using the Unified Scholarship Application, or USA. Learn more at vsac.org/vsacscholarships. Reminder: The deadline for all materials is  February 15, 2019. For more information, call 888-253-4819 or email scholarships@vsac.org.

Save the date for the NEW College & Career Pathways 2019! This year's events for students, parents, and adults curious about pursuing education and training will be held at 4 locations throughout the state. Each event will include a daytime component for high school 10th and 11th graders, plus an evening program of workshops and a career resource fair for high school students, parents, and community members to connect with a variety of organizations and programs to support their dreams after high school. Look for details and registration information in January!

  • Wednesday, February 27 — Castleton University
  • Thursday, March 7 — Southern Vermont College
  • Thursday, March 21 — Saint Michael's College
  • Wednesday, April 10 — NVU-Johnson

VSAC's Educational Opportunity Center — easy as a phone call! 

Do you know any adults who would like to take a step toward new career possibilities and aren’t sure where to begin? VSAC’s EOC services can help. Our counselors understand the needs of adult students and are ready to help individuals take steps in a new direction. All services are free.

Call us toll-free today! 
In the Rutland or Bennington areas: 786-8840
In the Burlington area: 654-3793
In all other areas: toll-free 877-961-4369

Read the latest EOC newsletter >

 

Join Advance Vermont today

Advance Vermont brings together Vermont’s leading education and workforce development experts to build commitment and progress to the ambitious goal of assuring that 70% of Vermonters possess a postsecondary degree or credential of value by 2025. 

Advance Vermont is dedicated to ensuring that Vermonters from every corner of the state, from every economic and educational background, have access to the education they need in order to excel personally and professionally. The effort is a collective-action organization dedicated to leading initiatives and broadening public understanding to achieve the goal.

Sign up to get involved.

Learn more at 70x2025vt.org.

 

VSAC Research: VSAC’s Research Continues to Shape Higher Education Policy in Vermont

View the latest reports, county fact sheets, and past survey results >

 

Changes in Delivery of VSAC Publications

VSAC revamped its delivery in 2018 to help you better manage the distribution of our publications. If, over the spring or summer, you ordered your 2018–2019 publications, you’ll have received your bulk order by the end of August. If you didn’t have a chance to submit your order, you’ll have received a sample packet of our publications line-up. 

Order bulk publications >

Pre-Register Your School for College & Career Pathways 2019

This spring VSAC’s College & Career Pathways will move from 3 Saturday events to 4 weekday events, with a daytime component for schools, targeted to 10th and 11th graders, and an evening component for families and community members, including resources for adult learners. 

2019 Dates:

  • Wednesday, February 27 — Castleton University 
  • Thursday, March 7 — Southern Vermont College
  • Thursday, March 21 — Saint Michael’s College
  • Wednesday, April 10 — NVU–Johnson

 

Daytime Field Trip for School Groups 

Schools can now pre-register to bring students to the daytime portion of this year’s College & Career Pathways. Pre-register here to let us know which event you’d like to attend and the approximate number of students you’d like to bring. We expect the daytime portion to reach capacity and recommend pre-registering so we can hold space for your students.

Since this event will offer multiple workshop options, we’ll follow up in early January with a link for your students to register individually in order to choose their workshops. We look forward to hosting your students this year!

Personalized Learning Plans

VSAC has, for the past 4 years, subsidized the cost of the Naviance career and college planning platform to help schools implement Personalized Learning Plans (PLP). For schools actively using Naviance, VSAC will continue to subsidize the cost during the 2018–2019 school year—the final year that VSAC will provide the subsidy. During the 2019–2020 school year, if you’ve found Naviance to be a useful platform, we hope you’ll consider contracting directly with Hobson’s, Naviance’s parent company, for continued use. Please contact us at naviance@vsac.org.

 

State and Regional News

Study of 2012 Vermont high school grads reports college outcomes, VTDigger.org
“That’s shocking for me. I think we’re in danger of leaving our first-generation students behind, from a post-secondary education perspective,” VSAC research analyst Robert Walsh told Vermont educational leaders at a summit held at the nonprofit’s headquarters in Winooski on Tuesday.

Barriers to completing college, WCAX
Are Vermont students making the grade? A closer look at college graduation rates in our region.

VSAC and AG warn of scammers posing as student loan servicers, Vermont Business Magazine
Attorney General TJ Donovan joined Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) to warn Vermonters about scams involving student loans. Scammers pose as student loan servicers, debt relief companies, document preparation companies or say that you may be eligible for a student loan forgiveness program.

SNHU’s New Program Reimagines the Concept of College, eCampus News
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is redefining the traditional concept of college as the middle ground between high school and the workplace. In a merger with LRNG, a non-profit that serves disadvantaged youth populations, SNHU will work with cities and employers to develop innovative learning and workforce solutions. 
 
 

National News

Opinion: How to Train 2 Million Americans for High-Skilled Jobs for Free, The Hill
The idea of employer-provided training is, of course, not an entirely new concept. Up until the late 1990s, most large employers recruited entry-level talent and trained them throughout the course of their careers.  

Late to Launch: The Post-Collegiate Struggle, New York Times
Despite a low unemployment rate, many young adults lack job prospects that mesh with their idealized vision of the post-college world.

When a College Student Comes Home to Stay, New York Times
Thirty percent of freshmen won’t return for their sophomore year, and the wheels can start to fall off as early as Thanksgiving. What can parents do?