Vermont State Colleges, VSAC team up to offer a gift for "Green Mountain Grads"

A tuition-free college course for the classes of 2020 and 2021

WINOOSKI (May 18, 2021) — To the high school classes of 2020 and 2021: Vermont has a graduation gift for you!
The state of Vermont, the Vermont State Colleges System and VSAC are teaming up to provide one tuition-free college class to the graduates of the classes of 2020 and 2021. 

Due to the economic impact of the pandemic on the families of recent high school graduates, the Legislature has approved $2.8 million from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for a “gift” to Green Mountain Grads “to enhance graduates’ work and academic skills.” 

Students from the classes of 2020 and 2021 simply need to enroll in the course of their choice at any school in the Vermont State Colleges System — Northern Vermont University at Johnson or Lyndon, Vermont Technical College, Castleton University or Community College of Vermont. VSAC will pay the tuition for you. 

“We all recognize how the pandemic has made it more difficult for many high school seniors to make decisions and take the next steps in their education,” said Sophie Zdatny, Chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges System. “But we also know that every Vermonter needs education and training that will prepare them for high-growth, high-wage jobs in Vermont. As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, now is the time for young Vermonters to get the skills needed for their future careers.”
VSAC will administer the Green Mountain Grad program so high school graduates can enroll easily and quickly, Zdatny added. “All students need to do is enroll. Between VSAC and the State Colleges, we’ll take care of the rest.”

To enroll, eligible students can find the full list of courses online at each of the State Colleges’ websites.  Students can enroll in hybrid, in-person or online courses.  Eligible students who have already enrolled at any school in the Vermont State Colleges System — Northern Vermont University at Johnson or Lyndon, Vermont Technical College, Castleton University or Community College of Vermont — are also eligible for the Green Mountain Grad program. 

The Green Mountain Grad program is another example of the continuing strong collaboration between VSAC and the Vermont State Colleges, said Scott Giles, VSAC president and CEO. 

“The Green Mountain Grad program acknowledges the challenges faced and hurdles overcome by the high school classes of 2020 and 2021. We want to give them the gift of continued education as a way to celebrate their resilience and honor their achievements.”

“The pandemic has demonstrated the critical role that education and training play in our economy and we want all Vermonters to be ready with the education and training they need,” Giles said. “It is education that creates the pathways to opportunity, and we want to give every member of these high school classes a chance to explore their options by giving them the chance to try a free course.”

“The pandemic has created a great deal of stress and uncertainty for many Vermont families. VSAC joins the Vermont State Colleges System in thanking the Legislature in taking this step to help high school graduates continue their education,” Giles said. 
For more information on the Green Mountain Grad gift, visit vsac.org/grad.

For more information, contact Marilyn Cargill at cargill@vsac.org


About VSAC — Changing Lives through Education and Training since 1965

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, nonprofit agency established by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters achieve their education and training goals after high school. VSAC serves students and their families in grades 7-12, as well as adults returning to school, by providing education and career planning services, need-based grants, scholarships and education loans. VSAC has awarded more than $600 million in grants and scholarships for Vermont students, and also administers Vermont’s 529 college savings plan. Share your VSAC story by email to myVSACstory@vsac.org or submit a video to YouTube. Find us at www.vsac.org or check in on Facebook and Twitter. #changing lives