Vermont’s Best Public Colleges & Universities of 2021

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in Vermont provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

Vermont’s Best Public Colleges & Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Vermont

Vermont is home to five public universities and colleges. Among these is the state’s largest school, the University of Vermont in Burlington. This college serves almost 13,000 students and boasts alumni like Ben Affleck and John Dewey. The majority of the higher education institutes in Vermont are private schools. Tuition at these schools ranges greatly, from $17,000 to $57,000. Though it is the most expensive private school in the state, Landmark College in Putney is especially unique as its student population is made up entirely of students diagnosed with learning disabilities, attention disorders, and autism. Students here can earn degrees in fields like psychology, studio art, and life science while participating in a more intimate, student-centered learning environment.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

Almost all of Vermont’s schools could be considered small schools, serving student populations of 5,000 or less. Included on this list are three religiously affiliated schools, like Saint Michael’s College in Colchester. While tuition in Vermont tends to be costly, the state offers several loan forgiveness programs to qualifying dentists, physicians, nurses, and lawyers who work for nonprofits.

While many travelers come to Vermont for its famous maple syrup and stunning fall foliage, they’ll stay for the state’s bounteous farmers markets, wineries, and artisan foods. The magnificent green mountains, pristine skiing resorts, and rugged hiking trails are also major draws for visitors and residents alike. Students aiming to earn their degree while enjoying the outdoors and eating locally-sourced meals can attend one of Vermont’s 22 higher learning institutes.

Learn more about Vermont’s higher education opportunities by checking out the state’s array of picturesque colleges and universities.


What are Vermont’s Colleges & Universities?

Vermont’s Best Overall

What is a public college? And what is the difference between a private and public college?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models — one is a private company with private funding; the other is owned by the state and receives both state and federal funding to operate. If you’re weighing the pros and cons of private vs. public college, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a four-year degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a four-year public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually.

Vermont Best Public Colleges 2021 badge
Download Badge

How do we determine Vermont's best public colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer four-year undergraduate degrees. We’ve identified 4 public universities in Vermont; all of which meet our criteria. The list below of the best public universities in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must receive direct funding from the state.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It offers a broad range of bachelor’s degree programs.
  4. Its graduation rate must be greater than 30%.

Best Public Colleges & Universities in Vermont

  1. #1

    University of Vermont

    Burlington , VT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    76%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/28

    What is University of Vermont known for?

    University of Vermont’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #2

    Johnson State College

    Johnson , VT

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Johnson State College known for?

    Johnson State College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. #3

    Castleton University

    Castleton , VT

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1019/20

    What is Castleton University known for?

    Castleton University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Earth Sciences
    • Communications
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  4. Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Vermont Technical College known for?

    Vermont Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    REQUEST INFO

Find the best public college in Vermont for your interests

Resources for College-Bound Students

Photo By: Jonathan Leo Connor (Gopats92) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0