Financial Aid Policies

Although the primary responsibility for financing students’ education rests with their families, the Financial Aid Office at Vermont State University administers a comprehensive financial aid program to help students afford a university education.  

The financial aid program at Vermont State University primarily consists of federal funds (I.e., grants, scholarships, loans and work-study) with secondary funds coming from applicable state organizations and/or private loans or scholarships. A student’s financial aid eligibility is dependent upon availability of funds and demonstration of financial need. Financial need is the difference between the cost of attendance (budget) and the calculated resources of the family based on information in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A student’s budget takes the following into consideration: tuition, fees, food and housing, and an allowance for transportation, books, supplies, and personal expenses. In some cases, unusual expenses such as medical, may be added. Funds received through the various financial aid programs are supplemental to the resources of the family, the efforts of the student and the assistance received by the student from other sources. The federal aid programs are subject to change due to changes in state and/or federal legislation/regulations. 

Students must complete a FAFSA to be considered for federal aid. The FAFSA is made available on October 1st for the following year and must be submitted each year to be considered for federal aid. Students may apply for financial aid online at


Vermont residents should also complete the Vermont Grant application through the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC). Any Vermont resident who plans to attend or is enrolled in an approved post-secondary institution in an undergraduate degree program and who has not already received a bachelor’s degree is eligible to apply. Students may apply for this grant online at Non-residents should check with their home state higher education agency for state grant information. 

The Financial Aid Office may request additional information to determine your eligibility. Notification of financial aid eligibility will be emailed to all students advising them to go to the VTSU portal to review their financial aid package. The student should respond to any request for additional information as soon as they are able. Failure to do so may result in loss or delay of financial aid. 

Financial Aid offers are packaged for accepted new students and to registered returning students. Returning students must be registered or intend to register for the period of time for which they are requesting aid.  

The types of financial aid awarded are:

  • Scholarships: Institutional merit-based scholarships are awarded by the admissions office using information provided on your admissions application. Scholarships are available for first-year students, returning students, transfer students, international students, out-of-state students, and first-generation students. Many students also apply for outside scholarships to help with the cost of attendance. Scholarships are aid that you do not have to pay back. 
  • Grants: Federal and institutional grants are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need based on the information in the FAFSA. The Federal Pell Grant Program is an entitlement program. This means that all eligible students receive a grant. Grants are aid that you do not have to pay back. 
  • Federal Loans: Federal loans may be awarded as part of your financial aid package. The loans awarded may be Subsidized or Unsubsidized. The Federal Parent PLUS Loan is available to parents of dependent undergraduate students to help meet their student’s costs and requires a separate application. All Federal Stafford Direct Loans are borrowed from the Department of Education/US. Treasury. These loans are repayable for an extended period. Click here for more information about Federal Direct Loans.  
  • Private loans: Private loans are offered by many lenders and can help you meet the cost of attendance. They are available for both students (with a credit worthy cosigner) and/or parents.  All loans must be repaid. 
  • State Aid: Vermont students can apply for the Vermont State Grant through Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) at Students can contact VSAC to learn more about additional funding options. Out-of-state students should contact their state’s Higher Education agency. 
  • Work-Study: This aid allows a student to work on campus to earn money to help pay for your college costs and daily expenses. Many departments across Vermont State University’s campuses offer work-study opportunities.  

Academic Standing for Financial Aid Purposes

To be eligible for financial aid at Vermont State University, a student must be in good academic standing and must be making satisfactory progress (SAP) toward completion of a degree.

  1. GPA (Qualitative) Standard 
    Students academically dismissed from their academic program are automatically recognized as failing to meet Vermont State University’s SAP standards. Otherwise, as a student progresses through their academic program, their cumulative GPA must meet the following standards as recorded and documented by the Registrar’s Office. 
    • Students with fewer than 30 earned credits must maintain a cumulative GPA of 1.75 
    • Students with 30 earned credits or greater must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 
    • Graduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  2. Pace (Quantitative) Standard 
    Students must successfully complete 67% of their attempted courses as recorded and documented by the Registrar’s Office. Dropped courses will not be included. Courses withdrawn from after the end of the add/drop period will be counted as attempted credits. 
  3. Maximum Time Frame Standard 
    A student’s maximum time frame for completion of their academic program must not exceed 150% of the published program length, measured in credit hours. For example: AA or AS degrees require 60 credits, therefore the maximum time frame allowed is 90 credit hours. BA or BS degrees require 120 credits, therefore the maximum time frame allowed is 180 credits hours. Graduate degree time frames are determined by program. 

Students who do not meeting satisfactory academic progress have the opportunity to appeal the loss of federal aid eligibility. If an appeal is approved, then federal aid will be reinstated for one academic probationary period. Satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed each semester until the student is once again meeting SAP.  

Adjustments to Financial Aid Awards

Financial aid awards may need to be adjusted if a student exits the college during a semester. Federal regulations govern the return of Title IV funds for students eligible for federal financial aid. The university is guided by those regulations with regard to the return of institutional aid as well. Other aid, such as state grants and outside scholarships, will be returned as specified by the grantor. If a student stops attending all classes and does not complete an Exit Notification and/or Leave of Absence Form at that time, their Title IV funds may be adjusted or canceled, and the student will then be personally responsible for their bill. If Title IV funds need to be returned, they will be returned in the following sequence:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Federal Graduate Plus Loan
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal SEOG
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Employment through the federal work-study program is terminated on the date the student withdraws. Awards from sources other than the university and Title IV funding are adjusted according to the source agency’s own policy. 

Vermont State University Online follows the same refund policies as noted above.  

Special Circumstances/Professional Judgement 

If your family income has been significantly reduced or your family has experienced an unusual circumstance and your ability to pay has changed, we may be able to adjust your Federal Aid eligibility. Contact the Vermont State financial aid office at

Please see complete financial aid policies at