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Assoc. of VT Independent Colleges (AVIC) Releases Study on Significant Impact VT Colleges have on the Economy

News Release/For Immediate Release
December 15, 2016
For more information, contact:
Susan Stitely, President
MONTPELIER, VT – The economic impact to the State of Vermont from 18 private colleges and universities is $2.09 billion annually and the colleges directly employ 7,100 people statewide, according to a new study released by the Association of Vermont Independent Colleges (AVIC) using FY14-15 data.
Bennington County is home to Bennington College and Southern Vermont College.  The colleges collectively enrolled 1,199 students and employed 512 people, with total annual expenditures topping $49 million in 2014-15.  Over $32.3 million in tuition and fees from out-of-state sources were raised for spending in Vermont.
Statewide, private colleges can be a great source for increasing the permanent population in Vermont. “Not only is the private college sector a key driver in Vermont’s economy, but 80% of our students come from out-of-state.  This translates to about 15,500 young people and helps create a talent pool for employers.  Private higher education is a magnet and a top reason people decide to move to Vermont,“ said AVIC President Susan Stitely.
Due in large part to the out-of-state students attracted to Vermont’s private colleges, more first-year students come to Vermont each year than leave to attend college elsewhere.  This creates an annual “brain gain” for Vermont of about 2,800 first-year students.
Enrolled students spend their college savings in Vermont, and all those connected with higher education are also active consumers. Additionally, Vermont’s private colleges attract over 138,000 visitors, friends, and family annually who further support local businesses across the state. Student, visitor, faculty and staff spending totaled an estimated $848 million during FY14-15.
“The dollar and jobs impacts highlighted in this report are important to the state economy. Beyond those numbers, Vermont’s ability to attract out-of-state students introduces thousands of families to our state as visitors and often long-term residents — the state should find ways to strengthen our colleges and capitalize on that important marketing advantage,” said Ken Jones, an Economic Research Analyst for the State of Vermont.
Vermont’s private colleges are giving more institutional aid — $207 million in FY14-15 — from their own resources than ever before.  An annual average of 82% of students receive financial aid from institutional resources. Vermont’s private colleges serve roughly the same percentage -21.6% compared to 23.2% at public four-year institutions – of low-income students who qualify for need-based Pell grants.
Another reason that private colleges remain competitive is that 60.3% of bachelor degree-seeking students graduate within four years compared to 49.6% at public institutions.  This saves parents and students both time and money.
Data was collected through an AVIC survey, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC). An electronic version of the study may be found on AVIC’s website (
​AVIC represents 18 accredited independent colleges and universities in Vermont including Bennington College, Champlain College, College of St. Joseph, Goddard College, Green Mountain College, Landmark College, Marlboro College, Middlebury College, New England Culinary Institute, Norwich University, St. Michael’s College, SIT Graduate Institute, Southern Vermont College, Sterling College, Vermont College of Fine Arts, Vermont Law School and associate members Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences and Union Institute & University. AVIC is the only statewide organization that serves exclusively the interests of private higher education in Vermont.​
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