MONTPELIER — The Community College of Vermont (CCV) and Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) are expanding a program to provide Vermonters with a debt-free college degree.
The 802 Opportunity Grant provides free tuition to Vermonters with a household income of $75,000 or less that do not already have a bachelor’s degree. The grant is available to new or returning students of any age. According to US Census data, the median household income in Vermont is $63,477.
The 802 Opportunity Grant is a natural extension of CCV and VSAC’s work to address college affordability. “The 802 Opportunity Grant allows Vermonters to invest in themselves,” said CCV President Joyce Judy. “This program removes a barrier and provides a boost to Vermont families, communities, and businesses. We are proud to partner with VSAC to expand access to an affordable education in Vermont.”
Funding for 802 Opportunity was approved by Governor Scott and the Vermont Legislature in the summer of 2021 as part of a record investment in training and workforce programs. Now in its second year, the program had an original income threshold of $50,000.
“We know that education is the greatest equalizer when it comes to economic opportunity,” said Scott Giles, President and CEO of VSAC. “Education beyond high school is required for Vermont’s high-demand, high-wage jobs—the jobs that Vermonters want and the jobs that our employers need to fill. This program is a game changer for many traditional-age students and working adult students and one of the most important investments in higher education the state can make.”
802 Opportunity, in combination with state and federal grant aid, covers tuition for all credits in a degree program of the student’s choice, as well as the $100 administrative fee. The grant does not cover lab and studio fees, books, or other supplies.
CCV’s fall semester begins on Tuesday, Sept. 6.