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Free Money: New Aid for the 2022-23 School Year

There has never been a better time to be a student in Vermont.

Thanks to the State of Vermont and philanthropic donors, there is more aid than ever to help you reach your goals. Whether you are looking for a short-term certificate, an associate degree, or bachelor’s degree, check out these incredible opportunities at Vermont’s career and technical centers, and public colleges and universities. But do it now – with some programs, this money is limited and sure to go quickly!

These new aid offerings are just the beginning. There are many other financial aid opportunities available to help fund your education and training, including state and federal grants (free money!).

Details for some additional state-funded aid programs have yet to be announced. Follow Advance Vermont on Facebook and Twitter and check back here for updates. Until then, here is what you need to know.

Career Targeted Workforce Development Aid

The State of Vermont and VSAC are partnering provide millions of dollars of aid to Vermonters to help address our state’s workforce challenge. Grants and interest-free forgivable loans will go to support eligible students pursuing careers in in-demand fields like early childhood education, mental health care, nursing, skilled trades and beyond. While some programs may sound familiar, others are brand new. All programs have the potential to be game changers for Vermonters seeking education and training after high school.

Learn more about these programs here.

Opportunities at the Vermont State Colleges

Castleton University, the Community College of Vermont, Northern Vermont University, and Vermont Technical College are offering new scholarships, free tuition, and other financial aid opportunities for Vermont students. Below is a snapshot of each program. More information can be found here and college-specific details at the links above.

Free tuition is a big deal.

Who: Vermont students enrolled at Community College of Vermont with a family income of $75,000 or less (up from $50,000 last year!).

What: 802 Opportunity is program from VSAC that provides free tuition and the $100 administration fee to CCV for eligible students. 


  1. Complete a FAFSA and the Vermont grant application through VSAC.
  2. Explore courses and register for classes (and apply for admission to CCV if you haven’t already).
  3. VSAC will work with CCV to pay the tuition and administrative fee.

Learn more from VSAC.


Upskill at the University of Vermont

The University of Vermont is offering two free professional development courses to Vermonters with its Upskill Vermont program. Courses are designed to help students advance in growing fields, and some offer college credit. To be eligible, students must be Vermont residents, be unemployed/underemployed or be seeking to transition to a job providing better opportunity for economic advancement, and have income at or below 300% of the federal poverty guidelines by household size.

Visit the UpSkill Vermont webpage to learn more.

Still in High School? No problem!

Vermonters can get a free jump start on college credits before they’ve even graduated high school. New this year: those currently in grades 8-11 can count on a free associate degree at CCV if they complete early college their last year of high school and continue on with CCV!

Dual Enrollment: Take up to two free college courses during junior and senior years of high school.

Fast Forward: Career and technical education students can take free college courses offered through their tech center.

Early College: Students spend their final year in high school as a full-time college student – for free. Students can enroll in early college at institutions across the state. Two special programs at CCV are worth noting:

  1. Earn an associate degree at CCV for free! All students from the high school classes of 2023-2026 who complete early college at CCV can complete their degree one year after high school for free thanks to the McClure Foundation’s Free Degree Promise. The program covers tuition and fees at CCV and provides career and education advising, and stipends for costs like books and transportation. What’s better is that these associate degree program credits transfer easily into four-year programs across the state. Learn more about the Free Degree Promise here.
  2. The Vermont Community Foundation is partnering with CCV to offer a $1,000 stipend to each student in the Vermont High School Class of 2023 who enrolls in CCV’s free Early College Plus program to pursue one of five certificate programs: Cybersecurity Fundamentals, Graphic Design, or IT Service Desk Specialist, Digital Media Production, or Childcare. Learn more and apply for the Early College Plus program here.

Learn more about these “flexible pathways.”

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