Pursue a career in skilled trades — tuition free

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

A program for training and certification in select high-demand sectors 

CL5.pngFunded by the Vermont Legislature, the new Vermont Trades Scholarship Forgivable Loan Program covers up to full tuition, initial licensing fees and exam fees for qualified recipients enrolled in industry-recognized training and certification programs that lead to a career in select building, mechanical, industrial or medical trades; emergency services; energy including clean energy, energy efficiency or weatherization; transportation; broadband; robotics and other high-demand sectors.

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

Applicants must register with VT Department of Labor for the purpose of receiving relevant job referrals, if unemployed.

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:

  • Agree to work in their profession in VT for a minimum of one year following licensure or certification completion for each year of funding received.

 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?  

  • Vermont & non-Vermont residents 
  • Must demonstrate financial need.
  • Must be enrolled in industry recognized training and certification program that leads to initial employment or career advancement in a building, mechanical, industrial or medical trade; emergency services, including paramedics; energy, including clean energy, energy efficiency, or weatherization; transportation, including clean transportation; broadband; robotics or other high demand sectors.)
  • Must register with VT Department of Labor for the purpose of receiving relevant job referrals, if unemployed.

Note: Preference will be given to students enrolled in a Vermont-based training program.   

 

HOW MUCH IS THE AWARD?

This award can be used to pay for tuition, initial licensing fees, and exam fees.

 

WHEN CAN I TAKE COURSES?

The program covers programs that begin on or after September 1, 2022.

 

IF I’M UNEMPLOYED, WHY DO I HAVE TO REGISTER WITH THE VERMONT DEPARTMENT OF LABOR? 

In addition to funding to pay for tuition, exams, and licensing, you also qualify for additional help from the State of Vermont. A career counselor from the Department of Labor will assist you in a job search and placement with an employer when your training program is complete. If you don't have a Vermont Job Link account, someone from the Vermont Department of Labor will reach out to you to get started. 

 

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. Provide family income information as specified in the application instructions.
  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 the work obligation is met:
    • Agree to work in their profession in VT for a minimum of one year following licensure or certification completion for each year of funding received.

 

WHEN SHOULD I APPLY?

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until all funds have been awarded.

 

WHEN WILL I KNOW IF I'VE BEEN SELECTED?

Applicants will be notified by mail approximately two weeks after submission of all required documents. 

 

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 OTHER FUNDING AVAILABLE?

Vermont residents may also qualify for the Advancement Grant or the Vermont Grant.  

 

QUESTIONS:

  • about the scholarship application or status? Contact VSAC or call 888-253-4819.