News & Updates for Education Professionals

  • It's October, which means the FAFSA and Vermont grant applications for the 2019-2020 year are available. Check out the financial aid updates below. 
  • Need content for your upcoming newsletters, emails, and daily announcement messages? We're compiling a range of topics - starting with all things FAFSA. 
  • Spread the word: VSAC-assisted scholarship booklets and grant brochures are scheduled to be shipped to schools by October 18! 

Order bulk publications >

Scholarship Dates for 2019–2020 College Year 

The Unified Scholarship Application (USA) for all VSAC-assisted scholarships will be available on November 1. Look for delivery of our updated scholarships booklet 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 has completed 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 complete the FAFSA at fafsa.gov starting on October 1 for the 2019–2020 school year. If they need help, VSAC is at the ready: Every Friday in October, November (except the 23rd), 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 between October 1 and mid-December to provide families with help in completing the FAFSA. Dates will be 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.

FAFSA Content

Video: Bernie wants you to FAFSA 

Front Porch Forum posts

It’s October. That means you can FAFSA now. And you should, because there’s money waiting for you for college and career training. 

Each October, the FAFSA becomes available for the following school year. Many colleges—and VSAC’s Vermont Grant Program—make financial aid decisions on a first-come, first-served basis. Submit your application as early as possible to make sure you get the most aid you can. 

Fill out the FAFSA before Nov. 30 for an extra incentive—a drawing for an additional $1,000 FAFSA scholarship when you apply to one of these 9 Vermont schools: Bennington College, Castleton University, Community College of Vermont, Northern Vermont University, Saint Michael’s College, Southern Vermont College, Sterling College, University of Vermont or Vermont Technical College. 

You can get FAFSA help at VSAC’s FAFSA Fridays or attend a VSAC Financial Aid Forms Workshop in your area. Still have questions? Call 833-802-VSAC. 

 

For newsletters, emails, or daily announcements 

Seniors and parents: There’s money waiting for you for college and career training if you complete your FAFSA now. When it comes to financial aid for education and training after high school, the sooner you file the better. The FAFSA is the key, literally the gateway, to all financial aid – federal Pell grants, the Vermont State Grant, many scholarships, institutional aid, work-study programs, and loans. If you decide not to fill out the FAFSA, you are very likely going to overpay for your education. 

The average eligible student will receive $5,400 each year to help pay for their education!

Fill out the FAFSA before Nov. 30 for an extra incentive—a drawing for an additional $1,000 FAFSA scholarship when you apply to one of these 9 Vermont schools: Bennington College, Castleton University, Community College of Vermont, Northern Vermont University, Saint Michael’s College, Southern Vermont College, Sterling College, University of Vermont or Vermont Technical College. 

The FAFSA is easy to complete and takes about 30 minutes. There’s even an app for the FAFSA so you can fill it out on your phone if you want.

Still, first-time filers may have questions or need additional assistance. VSAC will offer financial aid forms workshops here on <<insert your school’s date>>.  

FAFSA Fridays are back, too. Families get individual assistance during a phone call or an appointment with a VSAC counselor. Call 833-802-VSAC for more information. 

And that’s not all: VSAC is sponsoring a FAFSA Completion Challenge with all public and private high schools in Vermont. Every high school that has 70% (or better) of their seniors completing a FAFSA will be entered in a drawing for $1,000 for a school-approved senior class activity. It would be great if <<insert school name>> wins this year!

 

Scholarship Content

Scholarships—like grants—are financial aid that you do not need to pay back. Scholarships are offered by many different groups, organizations, and even individuals. They are offered for all kinds of achievements—and to all kinds of students. And they’re usually competitive, with eligible applicants competing for a limited number of awards.

New scholarships for the academic year 2019-20 include:

  • $1,000 from the Alannas Scholarship for first-generation students who recognize the sacrifices made by their parent(s) while maintaining strong work ethics. 
  • $1,000 from the Dale A. Boutin Scholarship will be awarded to two first-generation students from a single-parent family or independent students living in Burlington, Barton, Glover, West Glover, Orleans, Irasburg or Newport. 
  • $1,000 from the Bruce Lamb Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by the Vermont Electric Cooperative Employees Fund, to a student accepted to an accredited lineman school. Applications accepted from students from Addison, Essex, Franklin, Orleans, Caledonia, Grand Isle, Chittenden or Lamoille counties. 
  • $1,000 from the Vermont Police Association’s George Whitney Scholarship for a student pursuing education or training in a field related to public safety.
  • $1,000 to $5,000 from the Carl T. Witherell Technical Scholarship for six graduates of the Hartford school district who are pursuing technical training after high school.

Beginning Nov. 1, the Unified Scholarship Application, or USA, will be available online at www.vsac.org. Required documents such as transcripts, recommendation letters, essays or other information can be uploaded right on the VSAC website as well. Visit VSAC’s scholarship page for more information.

To access the VSAC scholarship booklet for the 2019-2020 academic year:

The scholarship booklets are also distributed to high schools, agencies, colleges and libraries in Vermont and some out-of-state high schools and colleges that border Vermont.

 

The deadline for these VSAC-assisted scholarships is Feb. 15, 2019. For more information, call 888-253-4819 or email scholarships@vsac.org.

 

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 70x2025vt today

70x2025vt 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. 

70x2025vt 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 is revamping 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 receive your bulk order by the end of August. If you didn’t have a chance to submit your order, you’ll receive a sample packet of our publications line-up. 

Order bulk publications >

VSAC's Annual Financial Aid Training?

Did you miss this year's training? Catch up with federal and VSAC updates in financial aid and find the federal resources and VSAC links you'll need to support your students who are applying for financial aid.
 

Looking for financial aid resources?

View the fall training Powerpoints and find financial aid resources. We have what you need for your students & parents.

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

College of St. Joseph to stay open, WCAX

Good news for students at the College of St. Joseph—the school will stay open. The Rutland Herald reports the school's board of trustees voted

 

Vermont Talent Pipeline Management program launches manufacturing industry collaborative, VTDigger.org

This new collective impact collaborative is the third launched since April 2017. In concert with regional convening partners from around the state, 21 manufacturing employers met to join forces in the work of developing a pipeline of skilled talent.

 

The Neglected Challenges of Rural Education, Real Clear Education

While the national focus is often on the poor performance of urban schools, rural and many small-town schools perform significantly worse than urban schools in many cases.

National News

College Admissions Is About to Get Way Less Stressful, Bloomberg

This will be a full-blown crisis for some types of institutions, as the recent book "Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education" makes clear. Birthrates in the U.S. began to fall in 2008 because of the great recession, and in 2026 that diminutive recession cohort will start turning 18. Colleges whose business model has been built on growth will be hurting. In the five years beginning in 2026, the number of college-aged students will drop 15 percent.

 

Economic Value of College Majors, Georgetown University

The top-paying college majors earn $3.4 million more than the lowest-paying majors over a lifetime. Two of the top highest paying majors, STEM and business are also the most popular majors, accounting for 46 percent of college graduates.

 

Public Servants Do Get Student Loan Forgiveness. Meet One of the First., New York Times

Borrowers in the federal public-service loan forgiveness program have run into many problems. But one social worker managed to wipe out $170