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Workforce Development Funding
Get help paying for college or training in critical job fields
The Vermont Legislature passed a historic bill in June 2022 which invests millions of dollars of state and federal funding into initiatives designed to address Vermont’s workforce shortage. This new funding will reduce or eliminate tuition for eligible students pursuing careers in critical fields such as skilled trades, nursing, mental health care and more.
VSAC, in partnership with other Vermont agencies, will offer grants and interest-free forgivable loans that will help eligible students afford the degree or training they need to pursue the career they want.
Grants are a form of financial aid that does not need to be paid back. That’s why they’re often called “gift aid.” Grants are awarded based on financial need. The state of Vermont offers the following grants which are specifically designed to help students pursuing careers in specific high-demand fields:
- 802 Opportunity — free tuition at Community College of Vermont (CCV)
This grant program, in combination with other state and federal financial aid, offers free tuition at Community College of Vermont to eligible Vermont residents with a family income of $75,000 or less.
- Advancement Grant — funding help for short-term training in a non-degree program
This grant program supports eligible Vermont residents enrolled or planning to enroll in a qualified non-degree course or short-term training program that will enhance job skills to improve their ability to get a job, or that provides an introduction to college courses.
Interest-free forgivable loans
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 does not complete the program, does not receive their license, or does not work in the field in Vermont following licensure.
Vermont Nursing Forgivable Loan Program — up to full tuition to qualified recipients
An interest-free forgivable loan that covers full tuition for qualified recipients (Vermont residents or non-residents) enrolled in a practical nursing certificate program (LPN), an associate or bachelor’s degree, or graduate degree in nursing at a Vermont public institution (Castleton, Vermont Tech or University of Vermont); or up to $16,280 (in-state tuition at UVM for 2022–2023) at a Vermont private institution or out-of-state institution. Must commit to working in Vermont as a nurse employed directly by a Vermont health care provider for a minimum of one year following licensure for each year of assistance received.
Nurse Faculty Forgivable Loan Program — full tuition to qualified recipients
An interest-free forgivable loan covers full tuition for qualified recipients (Vermont residents or non-residents) enrolled in a program that leads to a graduate degree in nursing (which qualifies them to teach at a nursing school in Vermont). Must commit to working as a member of the nurse faculty at a nursing school in Vermont for a minimum of one year following licensure for each year of assistance received.
Link coming soon
Vermont Mental Health Professional Forgivable Loan Program — full tuition to qualified recipients
An interest-free forgivable loan covers full tuition for qualified recipients (Vermont residents or non-residents) enrolled in a program that leads to a master’s degree in a mental health field. Must commit to working in Vermont as a mental health professional for a minimum of one year following licensure for each year of assistance received.
Link coming soon
Vermont Trades Forgivable Loan Program — up to full tuition for training and certification programs in select high-demand sectors
An interest-free forgivable loan that covers up to full tuition for qualified recipients (Vermont residents or non-residents) enrolled in industry-recognized training and certification programs that lead to a career in select building, mechanical, industrial or medical trades; emergency services; energy; transportation; and other high-demand sectors.
Vermont National Guard Tuition Benefit Program
An interest-free forgivable loan covers tuition (amount varies depending on the institution and/or program in which the student enrolls) for active members (Vermont residents or non-residents), in good standing, of the Vermont National Guard when they complete specific Vermont National Guard service obligations outlined by the program. Must attend a Vermont State College institution, UVM, a Vermont private college, or an eligible training institution for a non-degree, certificate training, or continuing education program.
Link coming soon
Vermont Dentist Forgivable Loan Program
An interest-free forgivable loan that awards up to $50,000 annually for qualified recipients (Vermont residents only) enrolled as a graduate student who has completed the first year and is entering the second, third, or fourth year of a dental program at an accredited dental school. Must commit to working in Vermont for a minimum of one year following licensure.
Link coming soon
Other available funding
Curtis Credential of Value Scholarship
Students enrolled in short-term certificate programs leading to jobs/employment may be nominated by a VSAC Outreach counselor for this scholarship. Scholarship awards vary, up to $1,500, depending on the program the student is enrolled in.
- about these scholarships or your application or status? Contact VSAC or call 888-253-4819.
- about available programs at participating schools? Contact your school directly.