Counterpoint: Declining in-state admissions signify less opportunity for Vermonters
February 1, 2023
Vermont sits in the middle of the U.S. states when it comes to income, according to the World Population Review. So, why isn’t UVM accessible for Vermonters?
While there has been a genuine decline in numbers of Vermonters graduating from high school since 2008, the 80% of students in the Vermont State Colleges System are in-state, according to a Sept. 28, 2015 article from the Burlington Free Press.
In contrast, only about one-fourth of the UVM undergraduate population is from Vermont, according to data from College Simply.
The same data shows only about 13% of students are considered low income. Clearly, the issue isn’t Vermont—it’s the lack of accessibility to UVM.
It would be in UVM’s best interest to admit more in-state students. Having a high in-state population at universities is great for a number of reasons.
First, when there are more in-state students, it shows that there is a clear liking and want for students to stay in the state they grew up in for some of the more formative years of their lives.
It also demonstrates University support and encouragement towards its young citizens to take the opportunity that’s right in front of them for higher education.
While elitist and selective schools may sound good on a resume, students should feel accepted and wanted by their state university.
On top of all of that, it shows that the University is a place local students want to attend, instead of seeking out other options.
Personally, I am from New Jersey. Yes, I understand the irony of me writing this article. No, I did not apply to Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey.
Burlington was ranked as the No. 16 best college town to go to school in, according to a May 29, 2021 Parade article.
There is a vibrant downtown area with many restaurants and stores. Lake Champlain offers a great beach in the summer and there are many nearby mountains for skiing, hiking or backpacking.
While some Vermonters will face issues with UVM’s nearly $17,000 in-state tuition, Vermont State University pledged to cut tuition by 15%, making it about $10,000 per year for in-state students, according to a Sept. 23, 2022 article from VTDigger.
While the Vermont State College System is using its money to cut tuition costs, UVM spent $8.7 million on just the University store, according to its 2021 Financial Statement, money that could have been used to aid in-state students in tuition costs.
The endowment UVM possesses, coupled with the highly-qualified individuals that fill up its staff, makes it evident the University provides students with a fulfilling education and ample post-graduate opportunities.
That said, the decline of in-state students does not necessarily mean people dislike Burlington.
The financial accessibility of the Vermont State College System is probably much more enticing than the high price tag on the city life Burlington has to offer.
Whether you grew up in Vermont or come from the opposite coast, it is valuable to have a high in-state population at UVM. It means we go to a University that cares about locals’ access to higher education.
Not only this, but you might be able to learn a bit more about the ins and outs of Vermont from in-state students. There’s nothing more exciting than finding out Bernie’s favorite local coffee shop.