The Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees has approved a new base tuition measure that will lower the sticker price of Vermont State University campuses for future students, both in and out-of-state.
The decrease, which will coincide with the July 1 launch of Vermont State University, was announced in a press release from Sept. 23 and revealed that Vermonters enrolling in undergraduate programs at the new university will have a base tuition of $9,999; out-of-state students will have a base of $19,998.
VTSU President Parwinder Grewal said that he and the Board of Trustees had been working on the decrease since he first assumed his role roughly three months ago and that tuition affordability was a top priority of his.
“Higher education is expensive in the United States. And higher education is a way to transform people’s lives. It’s not just a student. If you get higher education, your family’s life is transformed. In fact, your communities benefit because you help your community with your intellect that you have gained and the resources that you are able to obtain,” Grewal said in an interview. “It’s also personal to me because I’m a first-generation student myself. And, having had access to higher education, my life (was) transformed.”
With tuition for soon-to-be unified schools having held steady since the 2019-2020 academic year, current students matriculating into the new university can expect adjustments to their financial aid packages. According to Grewal, students will pay an amount equal to or less than they paid for the 2022-2023 year.
The announcement of the tuition decrease follows another decision by Board of Trustees to expand in-state tuition to refugee students at all VSCS schools, effective June 1, 2022.
The recently passed Act 166, which was passed by the Legislature in June, included ensured that refugees making a home in Vermont have access to in-state tuition rates at the Community College of Vermont — an act which inspired the Board of Trustees to go a step further.
“The Legislature is eager to support accessible, public higher education in Vermont. I am pleased to see the VSCS Board of Trustees take this initiative to provide just and equitable education for refugees and expand it,” Sen. Brian Campion, Chair of the Senate Education Committee, stated in a press release on Sept. 14. “Adopting this inclusive measure system-wide will ensure that refugees who have come to Vermont are able to pursue their educational goals no matter where they live.”
Grewal noted that Vermont has traditionally been one of the most expensive states to pursue higher education in and that these changes to tuition affordability and accessibility put the state in line with other institutions.
“This is a really very exciting (time) in the history of the Board of Trustees for the state colleges. This is the first time we have reduced the tuition,” Grewal said. “We are hoping that the state would continue to support state colleges moving forward, and higher education will continue to be valued in the state.”