Vermont has three well regarded four-year institutions with online undergraduate offerings: Champlain College, Norwich University and Johnson State College. Each is accredited and considered a Title IV institution. While Norwich and Champlain both offer around six bachelor’s programs each year that can be taken fully online, Johnson State’s online courses are largely intended to support students returning to school to complete their degrees. Regardless of the nature of the programs, all three of these Vermont schools are uniquely committed to supporting a body of online students.
But before we dive into our rankings of the best online colleges in Vermont for 2017, let’s start with the state of higher education and online education in particular in Vermont today.
A Brief Overview of Higher Education in Vermont
In 2013, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that Vermont had 24 degree-granting institutions, broken down as follows: 6 public schools, 17 nonprofits and 1 for-profits. The total number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the ’12-’13 school year at these schools was: 3,572 at public schools, 2,557 at private nonprofits and 77 at private for-profits. Six-year graduation rates in Vermont sat at 65.3% as of 2013, the 7th highest rate amongst states.
- 6 public
- 17 non-profit
- 1 for-profit
Tuition-wise, the College Board found that, in the ’15-’16 school year, the average in-state tuition and fees for four-year public schools was $14,990, while the out-of-state average was $35,710, the highest average amongst states.
As for the state’s financial aid efforts, the National Association of State Student Grant & Aid Programs (NASSGAP) reported that Vermont awarded $20.4 million in need-based grants for the ’13-’14 school year. Grants make up 22.1% of the state’s total fiscal support for higher education. The state also awarded an additional $491,000 in conditional grants over the same period.
The National Governors Association projected that by 2018, 211,000 jobs in Vermont would require a postsecondary degree, which is an increase of roughly 10,000 jobs from today’s pool of jobs requiring higher education. Vermont’s higher education systems is one of the nation’s most respected, with swaths of out-of-state and distance students eager to enroll in its schools, which bodes well for its strong workforce of educated professionals.
The State of Online Higher Education in Vermont
The NCES estimates that at least 10% of students enrolled in Vermont’s Title IV institutions are in fully online programs. Of those, 54.3% were reported to be undergraduates and 53.5% were found to be living in Vermont.
Vermont became a full member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) in 2015 ― see the Vermont Business Magazine’s writeup on the matter. This agreement makes it easier for students living in one state to participate in distance learning programs offered by universities in another. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts, including the New England Board of Higher Education which Vermont belongs to.
Best Online Colleges in Vermont
Below, you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in Vermont. Our profiles look at how schools approach online education and then list out their services for distance students and their popular, fully online degrees. After reviewing the best online schools in Vermont, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in Vermont or our index of popular in-state scholarships.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||Champlain College||Burlington||$$$$$||246 S. Willard St|
Burlington, VT 05401
Champlain, located in Burlington, has more than 50 online associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs. There are 11 bachelor’s programs, including a degree in economic crime that prepares students for financial fraud investigations and the Certified Fraud Examiner test. Small online classes of 15 to 20 students ensure a personalized learning experience. Students use the Canvas platform to take accelerated seven or eight-week courses; more complex courses are 15 weeks long.
Students searching for online colleges in Vermont should be aware that Champlain’s online courses usually require the same amount of time as on-campus courses, typically four hours a week, plus 10 to 15 hours to complete assignments. Courses are taught asynchronously, but there are weekly deadlines for discussion responses and assignments. There are two terms per semester, and three semesters each year. A bachelor’s degree usually requires 120 credits. Champlain’s transfer credit program permits eligible students to transfer up to 90 credits toward their bachelor’s degree. Online student services include academic advisors, career advisors, and instructors who take a personal interest in their students.
|2||University of Vermont||Burlington||$$$$$||85 S Prospect St|
Burlington, VT 05405-0160
UVM, located in Burlington, is a leader among online schools in Vermont with programs in health, business, education, engineering, and the environment. There are 30 hybrid and online programs designed for working professionals. Certificate programs include sustainable food systems, craft beer, and cannabis science and medicine. Five online master’s programs lead to health-related degrees or a degree in sustainability. The bachelor of science in health sciences program prepares students for careers in public, environmental, or animal health that are not directly related to patient care. The 120-credit program takes about two years to complete. Students should have at least one year of college, including one semester of life/natural science with a lab, and 30 credits with at least a 2.7 GPA.
The RN to BSN program broadens earnings potential and employment options for nurses. Eight of the nine courses are online; there is one, five-day summer course on campus. Requirements include a cumulative GPA of 2.5. Most nurses complete the program in three years.
|3||Norwich University||Northfield||$$$$$||158 Harmon Drive|
Northfield, VT 05663-1035
Norwich, located in Northfield, was the nation’s first private military college. Norwich University Online enrolls about 1,200 students in certificate, bachelor’s, and master’s programs. There are six online bachelor’s programs including some not offered by other online colleges in Vermont. The bachelor of science in strategic studies and defense analysis is designed for active duty or retired Reserve and National Guard personnel from a U.S. Special Operations Command or NATO Special Operations Forces. Instructors include retired military officers and defense strategy specialists. The online bachelor of science in national security studies program builds on the experience of military combat personnel, law enforcement professionals, and those in the intelligence community. The program helps students transition to a civilian career or further their current career within any of the 18 federal agencies or the U.S. intelligence community.
Programs are designed so students take one course at a time and emphasize relevant content that students can immediately apply in the workplace. Students can transfer up to 90 semester credits and finish their degree in under two years.
|4||Johnson State College||Johnson||$$$$$||337 College Hill|
Johnson, VT 05656-9464
Johnson State is a liberal arts college that emphasizes environmental and social awareness in their associate, bachelor’s, and master’s programs. JSC’s reputation as one of the best online schools in Vermont is due to the cross-disciplinary instruction it delivers. The school offers six online programs, including a bachelor of science in wellness & alternative medicine. JSC was one of the first colleges to build a science-based undergraduate degree program. Course offerings include human anatomy, native American healing, and applied herbal pharmacology.
JSC’s bachelor’s completion program has online and weekend classes at its Johnson campus. Five of JSC’s online programs are taught completely online; the childhood education program has an on-campus requirement during the final year. Online courses, which use Moodle, are structured in seven-week or 14-week formats. Distance learners pay in-state rates for online courses, and part-time students pay a $20 per credit fee; full-time students pay $240 per semester. Students must have at least a 2.0 GPA and be a U.S. resident. Massachusetts residents may not attend.
Most Affordable Online Colleges in Vermont
Below, you’ll find the best online colleges in VT, sorted by affordability.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Vermont
C.V. Starr Scholarship
The C.V. Starr scholarship is open to Vermont residents attending Vermont Technical College. Recipients are selected based on financial need and academic achievement. Maximum award is $1,000.
Don and Peg Arnold Scholarship
Provided by the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, this scholarship is for Vermont students from any of the 8 towns served by Shoreham Telephone Company (Benson, Castleton, Cornwall, Hubbardton, Orwell, Shoreham, Sudbury, and Whiting). Recipients are selected based on academic excellence, financial need, and involvement in community or school. The award is $5,000, and may be renewed for 4 years.
E. Dante Bogni Scholarship
The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation provides this scholarship to Vermont high school students who have shown a commitment to caring for the elderly in their communities. Applicants must be graduates of Montpelier or Spaulding High School. A letter of recommendation and a personal essay is required. The maximum award is $15,000.
Southern Vermont College provides this scholarship to incoming freshmen based on strong academic performance. To be eligible, students must have a GPA between 2.8 and 3.2, a 900+ SAT and a 19+ ACT score. The award is renewable annually if recipient maintains a 2.5+ GPA.
Frank M. and Olive F. Gilman Foundation Scholarship
Provided by the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, this scholarship is for students graduating from a high school in Orange County or Windsor County. Selection is determined by financial need, letter of recommendation, and application essay. Approximately 95 students receive this scholarship each year.
People’s United Bank Scholarship
Administered by the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, the People’s United Bank Scholarship is available to Vermont residents who are pursuing a degree at a college or university within the state. Recipients are selected based on academic achievement, letter of recommendation, application essay, and financial need.
Presidential Scholarship from Southern Vermont College
Southern Vermont College’s Presidential Scholarship is available to incoming freshmen who have participated in a community service organization. A GPA of 3.3+ and an SAT score of 1100+ (21+ ACT) are required. The award ranges from $9,000 to $11,000 per year for 4 years.
Presidential Scholarship from Sterling College
Sterling College’s Presidential Scholarship is available to incoming freshmen and transfer students who have taken part in a community service or learning activity related to the environment, or have undertaken a personal lifestyle change that has benefitted the environment. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required.
Southern Vermont College Opportunity Grant
The SVC Opportunity Grant is available to incoming freshmen at Southern Vermont College. Applicants must have a GPA in the range of 2.3 to 2.5, and an SAT score of 800+ (ACT 16+). Recipients are selected based on academic merit. The award ranges from $5,000 to $7,000.
Southern Vermont College’s Transfer Scholarship is open to incoming students who completed at least 24 college credits at a previous institution. A GPA of 2.7+ and a demonstration of financial need is required. The award ranges from $6,000 to $10,000 per year for 4 years.
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