VTSU budgeted for an overall dip in enrollment of 6% and a new student enrollment dip of 15% and has met its targets. Incoming class includes 52% first-generation college students, 53% Pell-eligible, 70% Vermonters, with 19% identifying as BIPOC.
Vermont State University (VTSU) welcomes more than 1,400 new undergraduate students to campus for the Fall 2023 semester and is pleased to report it has met its enrollment projections for its first post-unification academic year. The incoming class of 2027 is diverse with 52% of students identifying as first-generation college students and 53% being Pell-eligible. Nineteen percent of incoming first-year students identify as BIPOC and 70% of the incoming class is from Vermont. Vermont State University anticipated a dip in enrollment among new students of approximately 15% and returning students at just 6%. The new university has hit its targets and is optimistic for the future.
“We are thrilled to welcome such a talented and diverse group of students to Vermont State University for our inaugural year,” said Mike Smith, interim president. “Our university is committed to providing an affordable, accessible, and high-quality education to all Vermonters, regardless of education path or background. Further, we are proud to share that we have in fact met our enrollment targets for the year. Reductions in student size were anticipated and budgeted for given the work required to unify, our state’s demographics, recent media attention, and ongoing COVID impacts on higher education. The incredible profile of this class and that of our returning students, we know this is a strong foundation on which to build future classes who will grow in numbers and skill each year.”
The incoming class is also geographically diverse, with students representing 47 out of 50 states and 19 countries outside of the United States, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Ghana, India, Japan, Kenya, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, the Bahamas, the Gambia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. All students will benefit from a new hands-on advising model to support their growth and success.
“We are proud to have launched our new holistic advising model where each new student works with both a faculty and staff advisor,” said Kelley Beckwith, VP of Student Success at Vermont State University. “Advising at VTSU is student-centered and relationship-based. The new approach meets today’s students where they are whether they opt to study in-person, online, or both, and whether they are arriving from a high school setting, transferring from another university, or returning to higher education after a break or seeking a career change. Advisors serve as students’ ‘go-to’ person for academics, co-curricular experiences, and personal challenges throughout their time at VTSU.”
The Class of 2027 is excited to begin their college careers at VTSU. They are eager to learn, to grow, and to make a difference in the world.
“VTSU has been a spectacular experience so far,” said Jack Holley, an exercise science student and member of the Class of 2027. It seems like everyone has your back and because of that I feel like I am a part of the VTSU family. I am looking forward to growing not just as a student but also as a person here at VTSU.
“In the few weeks I have been at VTSU Lyndon, the faculty and students have provided a welcoming community full of experiences that truly make me feel at home,” said Lorenzo Pepe, a transfer student. “Every day is a new adventure, and I am learning just as much as I am enjoying my stay.”
VTSU leadership is optimistic about the future and will look to build on the success of this year’s growing class sizes in future years. The Class of 2027 is ready to make their mark on VTSU and on the world. They are the future, and they are VTSU.
In total, Vermont State University enrolls more than 5,200 students and learners of all ages, including more than 4,000 undergraduates and more than 500 graduate students and more than 700 in apprenticeship programs.
“There is critically important work ahead to expand programs where demand exceeds capacity today and right-size classes and campuses to meet student needs,” added Smith. “That work cannot wait and must be done through careful planning and collaboration. If we center our students in the work, I know we’ll get it right and VTSU will thrive.”