Try one course tuition free.

Powered by VSAC and the Vermont State College System

A gift for 2020 & 2021 Vermont high school grads

You’ve worked hard to graduate high school during a challenging time in history. Congratulations; you’ve earned it.

What’s next?

  • Maybe you’re college-bound in the fall but not sure what you want to study.  Maybe you want to get a taste of an area of study before you “dive in.”
  • Or maybe you’re not sure college or training after high school is for you. Maybe you’d like to try it out before you commit to a program.
  • Or maybe you aren’t sure you could stand another online course after a year of remote or hybrid high school. Would the college version be different?

Whatever your plan, here’s your chance to try one course tuition free. The State of Vermont, Vermont State Colleges System, and VSAC are teaming up to provide you with one tuition-free college or training course at any school in the Vermont State Colleges System.

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Who is eligible?  

Vermont high school graduates of the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021. If you’re already enrolled in a program at one of the 4 Vermont State Colleges, one of your courses will now be tuition free!

 

When can I take courses?  

The program will cover summer courses that begin after July 1, 2021, courses in fall 2021, or courses in spring 2022. Students should act now because summer course options are limited and we expect demand for this opportunity to be high in the fall and spring.

 

What costs are covered?

Tuition for your one selected course is covered in full. Some courses may have materials, textbooks, or course fees that you, the student, will be responsible for. The financial aid office at the school of your choice can help you with those details when you enroll.
 

How does it work?

Step 1 — Explore available courses at Castleton, CCV, NVU, or Vermont Tech.

Step 2 — Pick a school and decide if you're taking just one course or applying to a degree program.

Step 3 — Register for your one course or apply to a degree program at your chosen school:

  • To register for one course OR apply for a degree program at CCV, apply for admission (if you haven't already).
  • To register for one course at Castleton, NVU, or Vermont Tech, complete the registration form.
  • To apply for a degree program at Castleton, NVU, or Vermont Tech, apply for admission (if you haven't already).

Step 4 — VSAC will work with your chosen school to pay the tuition for your chosen course. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Who is eligible?

Any Vermont student in the high school graduating Class of 2021 or the Class of 2020.

How do I sign up for my tuition-free course at one of the Vermont State Colleges?

Follow the steps above under HOW DOES IT WORK?

When is the deadline to enroll in my free course?

Students will be able to enroll for summer courses that begin after July 1, or for the fall or spring semesters of the 2021–2022 academic year. Students should act now because summer course options are limited, and we expect demand to be high for this opportunity in the fall and spring.

What costs are covered?

Tuition for any course is covered in full. Course fees and textbooks are not covered, so you should follow up with the college where you're taking your course to see if there are additional fees.

Are textbooks included?

No.

I took a free course at CCV last year through the McClure Foundation gift to the Class of 2020. Am I still eligible to take a free class this year too?

Yes, we’re glad to continue supporting the education opportunities of the Class of 2020.

Can I still complete a FAFSA and receive federal financial aid?

Yes, and you should! You could receive federal and state aid in addition to this gift. For more questions regarding the FAFSA, connect with a financial aid counselor at VSAC or the financial aid office of the school you plan to attend — Northern Vermont University–Johnson or Lyndon campus, Castleton University, Vermont Technical College, or Community College of Vermont.

Where are courses being offered? 

Courses are offered in person or online at NVU–Johnson and Lyndon, Vermont Tech, Castleton University, and CCV. To explore your options, check out the course schedule at the school you want to attend.

Can I take my free course while attending another college?

Yes, but you should talk with the college you are or will be attending to make sure that the course you want to take can transfer back and that the financial aid you're receiving won’t be affected.

How will the gift of a free course affect my eligibility for other sources of aid, including my federal financial aid package?

The value of this gift is factored into the total financial assistance you're eligible for under federal regulations. For details and ways this might affect your aid, speak with a financial aid counselor at VSAC or the financial aid office at the Vermont State College where you plan to take your course. 

If you're attending another institution, you'll want to work with their financial aid office to learn whether or not this gift will have any affect on your financial aid package.

Will credits transfer to other colleges?

Each Vermont State College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Though credits are generally transferable throughout the country, credits earned are transferable to other colleges or universities only at the discretion of the receiving institution. VSAC encourages all students to consult with the college they are or will be attending to request pre-approval of course transferability.

What if I don’t have transportation?

The Vermont State Colleges have hundreds of online courses to choose from. If you have a laptop and Internet connection where you live, online courses let you access your education without needing to travel.

What if I don’t have broadband Internet?

Please speak with one of the campus advisors about options for assistance with Internet, technology, and computer access. They'll work with you to ensure that you have the tools you need to be successful.

What learning resources and support do the Vermont State Colleges offer?

The Vermont State Colleges want you to be successful when using this gift from the State of Vermont. Each college has academic support and access to career services. Contact your school directly for more information.

Do I have to apply and qualify for financial aid in order receive the free course?

No.

Will I be able to use this gift to pay for one of the courses that I’ve already signed up for that begins after July 1?

Yes. If you've already enrolled in a program at one of the 4 Vermont State Colleges, one of your courses will now be tuition-free!

Does the gift have a redeemable cash value?

No.

I completed my GED in Vermont in 2021 or 2020. Am I eligible?

Yes.

I'm a Vermont home-school student and graduated in 2021 or 2020. Am I eligible?

Yes.

Are Vermont residents who graduated from a high school in New Hampshire eligible?

Yes. Some Vermont students attend a high school in New Hampshire due to its proximity to their hometown. Vermonters who graduated from one of these schools are eligible.

Are 2020 graduates of private Vermont high schools eligible?

Yes.

Can the free course be used for developmental skills courses?

Yes.

Can I choose to audit my free class or take it pass/fail?

Yes. However, audited and pass/fail courses are generally not transferable to other colleges.

I thought the Legislature said the money available was for up to 2 free courses and may include a stipend. How come I’m only being offered 1 course and no stipend?

VSAC and the Vermont State Colleges expect that there will be great demand for these courses from graduates of the classes of 2021 and 2020 and want to ensure there is enough funding to cover at least one course for every graduate who wants to sign up. 

If there are fewer students than we expect who want to take a course, students may be offered the opportunity to take a second class or to receive a stipend.

Can I transfer my free course to someone else?

No.

Can I use my free course to pay for a past-due balance?

No.