The cost to attend Castleton State College is a lot higher if you’re not from Vermont. But out-of-state students keep coming to the small college with a big heart anyway.
Most students say they come because they want to be at a school with a tight-knit community and one that can create very unique connections.
Kayla Miller, a former Castleton student from Antrim, N.H., was pressured by her mother to leave Castleton at the end of last year due to the high prices for tuition and fees.
Now Miller wants to come back to Castleton, but is still considering going to a school in New Hampshire to receive in-state benefits.
Castleton, however, was her first choice.
“I really like the school and felt I had a good connection with it,” said Miller.
Other out-of-state students feel the same way.
“The small community feel reminds me a lot of my home town,” says New York resident Matt Harmon.
Castleton State wasn’t his first choice of schools, but he said he has enjoyed all his four years here.
One of Castleton’s attractions for out-of-state students is Killington.
“The fact that I love to snowboard and Killington was close and accessible,” said sophomore John Bertrand of Massachusetts when asked why he came.
Killington also lured Mike Garceau, and even provided him a job.
“Castleton has given me the opportunity to reopen the Ski and Snowboard Club along with being a sales rep for Killington,” said Garceau, who serves as president of the club.
The ratio of in-state to out-of-state students has remained consistent at about 70 percent to 30 percent, college officials said. This year, however, there has been swing of 60 fewer out-of-state students and 60 more in-state students.
“Which, if you figure $10,000 a piece, is a $600,000 difference,” Dean of Administration Scott Dikeman said. “We’re sensitive to the fact that it’s a major financial burden on families and we are privileged to have them (out-of-staters) on campus.”
Maurice Ouimethas been the dean of enrollment for 10 years. He said tuition for Castleton might seem a lot higher than other state schools, but the difference is not as much as you think.
Ouimet explained that other schools do what is called “flip-flopping” the tuition and fees, meaning schools might be considerably lower in tuition, but will charge higher fees.
Ouimet and Dikeman said Castleton may be called a state school, but it is much more than that. It is small and very diverse community that gives it a sense of a private school, but without the private school price, they said.