Best Online Colleges in Vermont

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Vermont is one of six states that comprise the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), an educational collaborative that offers a variety of benefits to New England residents who want to pursue online learning. NEBHE’s tuition break program, for example, allows students to enroll at out-of-state public colleges and universities for discounted tuition rates, and it has saved residents billions of dollars since its launch in 1957.

Residents of Vermont who want to pursue higher education online also have access to the Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative (VTVLC), which connects students with schools across the state. Students who want to take courses that their own school does not offer can go through VTVLC to find an online version of the course at another school and enroll in it. All of the courses in the VTVLC database are accessible from anywhere at anytime, giving students the opportunity to pursue a passion while pursuing their degree.

Students who enroll in courses at accredited online colleges in Vermont have all the advantages of those who attend classes on campus, as well as a few additional benefits. For example, distance learners have the flexibility to work full-time while pursuing a degree, and they often save money in the process because they don’t have to pay for housing or transportation costs to commute. There are several ways that distance learners can save on tuition costs, too, making it a highly lucrative way to pursue a college degree.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1Norwich University 5/557.66%Northfield, VT

At NU, students can complete their bachelor’s degree, earn a master’s, or advance their careers through professional enrichment and certificate programs. Students can enroll regardless of location or schedule constraints.

Students take one course per semester, which reduces some of the stress of juggling coursework with personal responsibilities. Master’s programs take 18 months and classes are capped at 15 students. To enroll in a bachelor’s program, students must have an associate degree or have earned 30 prior credits. NU is a military-friendly school that works to meet the needs of active duty, reserve, and veteran students. Military students are encouraged to integrate their military experience into their coursework.

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2Champlain College 5/557.12%Burlington, VT

Champlain College offers over 50 educational degree and certificate programs, providing students with the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s, MBA, or master’s degree entirely online. Professors are all experts in their field, providing students with applicable insight and real-world knowledge.

All of CC’s courses are seven or eight-weeks long, and courses are taught in an accelerated format that helps students graduate quickly. Students have the flexibility to create their own schedules, which is particularly useful for working professionals or students with children. Class sizes are small and offer students personalized attention and support.

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3Marlboro College 5/559.04%Marlboro, VT

Marlboro offers master’s and certificate programs in management and education. Classes are small, and professors strive to be available and accessible to their students. Degree programs are interactive and students complete projects that address real-world challenges. Most programs require students to complete a capstone project.

The MS in management is a two-year, 36-credit program. The MA in teaching with technology is a 30-credit degree that can be completed in one year. Marlboro also offers a two-year MBA program, designed for working professionals.

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4Johnson State College 3/535.81%Johnson, VT

JSC is one the best for continuing education students. Through JSC, working adults can complete their bachelor’s degree, earn their master’s, or take individual courses or certificate programs to enhance their career opportunities.

JSC’s online program allows students with at least 60 credits to complete their undergraduate degree in a flexible, low-residency program. Distance learners attend online and weekend courses at a variety of locations across Vermont. Graduate programs meet late in the day and only once per week to accommodate working professionals. JSC’s studio arts program is intended specifically for practicing artists, enabling them to complete coursework independently, while submitting work to faculty for review and support.

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5Green Mountain College 5/547.95%Poultney, VT

Environmental sustainability is the core of all graduate programs at Green Mountain College. Continuing education students can earn their master’s in sustainable food systems, environmental studies, or resilient and sustainable communities. GMC also offers an MBA in sustainability. The school is a renowned environmental institution.

Programs are offered online and students engage with their cohort at times that best suit their schedules. Each program features an annual 3-4 day residency at the GMC campus in Poultney. Courses are typically taken year-round with a one week break between each class.

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More about Online Colleges in Vermont

Vermont is small both in size and number of post-secondary institutions ― one of the ten states in the U.S. with less than 30 Title IV schools. However, the majority of these colleges and universities in the state offer online programs, and the state boasts an impressive 46.5% graduation rate ― one of the highest in the nation. Additionally, two of Vermont’s colleges are ranked as highly competitive, according to a recent NY times article. It is also considered one of the safest places to live in the nation, so those choosing to pursue residency can be assured of low crime rates across the state.

NCES Report

A recent NCES report (2012) showed that 4,507 students, or 10%, of those enrolled in Title IV schools in Vermont were pursuing a degree through an exclusively-online program.

  • 54.2% were considered undergraduates
  • 61.3% were attending private, nonprofit 4-year schools
  • 9.3% were attending public 4-year schools
  • 53.5% were residing in Vermont

Although Vermont’s appropriation of funds for higher education is low by national standards, the state legislature made a recent proposal to increase such funding, specifically to assist lower-income families with tuition and other associated costs, and decrease overall college debt for state residents. For now, students can seek assistance and financial aid through the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, which is dedicated to helping bring resources to all who desire a post-secondary education.