Class of 2019 has lowest percent of in-state students

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The class of 2019 has the lowest percentage of in-state students in UVM history.

Twenty percent of students in the class of 2019 are Vermonters, Admissions Director Beth Wiser said.  That means only 480 of the 2400 students are from Vermont.

Wiser attributed the low enrollment to a number of factors including declining high school graduation rates in Vermont and highly academically talented out-of-state applicants.

Infographic for In-State Students

INFOGRAPHIC BY SARAH OLSEN

“The pipeline of available Vermont students declines, and more out-of-state students apply than are targeted,” Wiser said.

Additionally, the number of college-aged children of faculty and staff who receive tuition remission was low this year.

Tuition remission is a benefit that universities give to employees that reduces the cost of tuition for them and their family members, according to the National Association of Independent Schools.

“When you take the 20 percent out of context it seems alarming,” Wiser said. “It’s still important to us to serve our best and brightest Vermonters.”

Wiser said 200 transfer students  were accepted this year, most of which are Vermont students transferring from out-of-state schools.

Many in-state first-years attribute their attendance at UVM to a combination of wanting to be close to home, good scholarships, financial aid and reputable programs for their intended majors.

First-year Michaela Eckler is from Fair Haven, Vermont and knew she wanted to come to UVM since high school.

“I had a teacher who told me UVM had the best program for my major [early childhood education] … it was the only school I applied to,” Eckler said.

Other students weren’t as excited to be attending their state school.

First-year Michael Daley of —-Johnson, Vermont acknowledged a stigma at his high school, Lamoille Union High School, about staying in-state.

“It’s seen as ‘Oh you’re staying local, you’re taking the comfortable option,” Daley said. “Everyone [at my high school] applied, everyone got in, but nobody went. We sent about 10 people.”

UVM and the state of Vermont offer scholarships and aid exclusively for students that stay in state.

One of these is the Green and Gold scholarship, which offers tuition-free attendance to the highest academically ranked student at each public Vermont high school.   

“Green and Gold should be a good incentive to stay in Vermont, but so many valedictorians I know didn’t go to UVM,” said first-year Gus Dixon of Westminster, Vermont.

One of those valedictorians was Emily Billado of Castleton, Vermont who attends American University in Washington, D.C.

“I’d lived in Vermont my whole life; I wanted a change of scene. I wanted to be in a city and I got good financial aid from American,” Billado said. “Even with the Green and Gold scholarship, there still wasn’t that much difference between paying for UVM housing, food and books and the price of American. Plus UVM didn’t have my major [musical theater] so that was a big factor.”

However, some Vermonters at UVM don’t mind the high percentage of out-of-state students.

“It’s refreshing to see out-of-staters so excited to be here,” Dixon said. “It makes me excited to go to UVM.”