Best Public Colleges in Vermont 2024


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.

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.

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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 the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, 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 bachelor’s 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. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 4 public universities in Vermont. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in Vermont, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.

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Best Public Colleges in Vermont 2023

  1. Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Career Outlook for degree at Vermont Technical College

    Cost of Degree: $15,546
    Expenses: $15,654
    Starting Salary: $45,900
    Cost Recoup Time: 13 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Vermont Technical College known for?

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

  2. #3

    Johnson State College

    Johnson , VT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Career Outlook for degree at Johnson State College

    Cost of Degree: $12,804
    Expenses: $15,154
    Starting Salary: $35,600
    Cost Recoup Time: 14 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Johnson State College known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #4

    Castleton University

    Castleton , VT

    Tuition + fees






    Student body


    Median SAT/ACT


    Career Outlook for degree at Castleton University

    Cost of Degree: $13,078
    Expenses: $14,808
    Starting Salary: $40,800
    Cost Recoup Time: 13 years
    Paid back at 15% of annual salary
    What is Castleton University known for?

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

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Vermont’s Best Public College in Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utilized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. University of Vermont
  2. Johnson State College
  3. Castleton University
  4. Vermont Technical College

Check out our directory of public colleges throughout the U.S. for a look at the top public colleges in every state.

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