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Best Online Colleges in Vermont

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 8/17/2022
2020 Best Online Colleges in Vermont Badge

The 4 schools on this list are Vermont's best online colleges and universities based on annual tuition rates and median salaries. Top-ranked Norwich University has an impressive 21 programs, including options in cyber security and criminal justice. Graduates from this college reported the highest salary on the list at $82,000. Second-ranked Champlain College has the lowest tuition of the group, at $9,540. This college has 41 degrees, including programs in marketing and communication, and accounting.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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RankSchool Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 Norwich University $11,250 $82,000
# 2 #2 Champlain College $9,540 $75,600
# 3 #3 Vermont Technical College $17,880 $71,700
# 4 #4 Northern Vermont University $10,500 $66,400
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

Online Colleges in Vermont Ranking Details

For each school, we conducted manual research to provide prospective students with more details about the schools' online programs. Explore online degrees offered and accreditation information below.

#1 Norwich University

  • Annual Tuition: $11,250
  • Median Salary: $82,000
  • Locations: Northfield
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Norwich University offers online bachelor’s degree programs in interdisciplinary studies, criminal justice, cyber security, management studies, national security studies, nursing, and strategic studies and defense analysis. An extensive number of online master’s degree programs are also available in fields, including diplomacy, history, international relations, strategic studies, business administration, civil engineering, public administration, criminal justice, information security and assurance, leadership, and nursing. Courses at Norwich are organized to be taken one at a time, and students are set up with a cohort to offer extra support. Technical support and online library resources from 100 databases are available 24/7. Norwich helps online students succeed with flexible learning schedules, individual support through service advisors, and personal welcome calls before every class.

#2 Champlain College

  • Annual Tuition: $9,540
  • Median Salary: $75,600
  • Locations: Burlington
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Champlain College offers numerous online certificate and degree programs including associate degrees in accounting and business management, bachelor’s degrees in accounting, business management, and cybersecurity, and master’s degrees in business, digital forensics, and human relations & organization. The college is highly focused on student engagement, with online classrooms that contain a high level of discussion and interaction among faculty and peers. Online classes offer small class sizes and weekly feedback for each student, personalized for their educational journey. Online students also have access to academic and career advising to help them with program and career planning.

#3 Vermont Technical College

  • Annual Tuition: $17,880
  • Median Salary: $71,700
  • Locations: Randolph Center
  • Accreditation: NEASC CTCI

Vermont Technical College has online bachelor’s degree completion programs in applied business management, dental hygiene, and nursing. They also offer an online associate degree in general engineering technology and hybrid certificate programs in fields such as computer networking, advanced software development, and cybersecurity. The school's Office of Continuing Education and Workforce Development (CEWD) also offers online, uncredited training classes that are facilitated by instructors. Students have the option to participate in live classes through videoconferencing, or they may choose to work at their own pace. The school is available on several social media platforms and offers nine satellite campuses in addition to its two residential campuses. VTC is committed to providing online students with the same quality education that they would receive in the classroom.

#4 Northern Vermont University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,500
  • Median Salary: $66,400
  • Locations: Johnson
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Northern Vermont University (NVU), which was formed after a unification between Johnson State College and Lyndon State College, offers several online programs, including bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, accounting, business administration-management, business administration- sport management), interdisciplinary studies, professional studies, psychology, and wellness and alternative medicine. Also available is a master’s in leadership studies and a bachelor’s in early childhood education, 90 percent of which can be completed online. NVU offers live, online classes and online library services, including the option to borrow printed materials remotely. Students receive assistance from academic advisors who can help with everything from program planning to career services. NVU is recognized as the state’s Premier Public Liberal Arts Campus by the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC).

Overview of Higher Education in Vermont

The State of Vermont is home to 24 degree-granting institutions of higher education. There are 17 four-year, non-profit institutions and six public institutions (five four-year, nonprofit, one two-year nonprofit and one four-year for-profit).

Among colleges and universities in Vermont, 12 institutions offer online degree programs:

  • 51 online bachelor’s degree programs
  • 24 online master's degree programs
  • 12 online associate degree programs

In Fall 2020, Vermont saw a 14% increase in the number of students enrolled exclusively online and a 27% boost in the number of students taking at least one online course. At the same time, there was a 41% decrease in the number of students taking courses strictly on campus.

The Vermont Higher Education Council (VHEC) reports that nearly 38,000 students attended Vermont colleges and universities in the fall of 2020. Out of that number, there were 33,000 undergraduate students and 4,800 graduate students.

A state committed to education, a recent WalletHub study ranked Vermont as the fifth-most educated state in the country, boasting a top 10 ranking for educational attainment and quality. With 24 colleges and universities, Vermont offers prospective students a wide range of options when it comes to school type, degree program offerings, and delivery method.

Online Colleges in Vermont

Students interested in attending an online college or university in Vermont have 12 different institutions to consider. While some institutions offer associate, bachelor’s, graduate, and professional degree programs online, others offer more select options to prospective students.

The chart below provides a snapshot of both the number and type of programs offered by online colleges in Vermont:

Number and Type of Programs Offered by Online Colleges in Vermont
Institution Number of Online Degrees Associate Degrees Bachelor’s Degrees Graduate/ Professional Degrees
Bennington College 2
Burlington College 26
Champlain College 66
Community College of VT 12
Green Mountain College 5
Johnson State College 2
Marlboro College 1
New England Culinary Institute 3
Norwich University 12
University of Vermont 3
Vermont Law School 2
Vermont Technical College 2

In terms of enrollment in online-only degree programs, Norwich University leads the way with an associated enrollment of just under 2,000 students, followed by Middlebury College (713) and Northern Vermont University (413). However, the University of Vermont ranks first when it comes to the number of students enrolled in at least one online course (5,982). The only other state colleges and universities with more than 1,000 students taking at least one course online are Middlebury College (1,918) and Saint Michael’s College (1,228).

As of Fall 2020, 29% of college students in Vermont were enrolled in entirely online programs.

Even prior to the pandemic, colleges and universities in Vermont were experiencing growth in online enrollment. In 2015, the percentage of students taking at least one online course was close to 25%. In terms of students enrolled exclusively in online courses, there were 3,493 undergraduates and 2,341 graduate students. As of Fall 2020, 29% of college students in Vermont were enrolled in entirely online programs, with 31.2% of students taking at least one online course. Today, more than 40 exclusively online degree programs are offered at colleges and universities across the state.

Among the most popular online bachelor’s degree programs in Vermont are accounting, business management, criminal justice, cybersecurity, defense, national security studies, interdisciplinary studies, and nursing.

Accreditation of Online Colleges in Vermont

In simple terms, accreditation serves as an official stamp of approval for a college or university.

One of the most important things to find out when researching a college or university — whether in-person or online — is the institution’s accreditation status. Achieving institutional accreditation means a college or university has voluntarily undergone evaluation and been determined to have met quality standards set forth by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).

However, the U.S. DOE and Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) are not part of the institutional accreditation process. Instead, the two entities simply provide oversight of national and regional accrediting bodies. The most common types of institutional accreditation are regional and national accreditation. Institutions operating exclusively online often seek accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), an official accrediting agency of the U.S. DOE and CHEA.

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) is the regional accrediting body for public colleges and universities in Vermont as well as for most private institutions. A full list of NEASC-accredited schools in Vermont is available online.

To learn more about accreditation and determine whether or not the institutions on your list are accredited, review OnlineU’s List of Online Colleges by Accreditation.

Cost of Online Universities in Vermont

As the costs of college continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to be aware of tuition rates at each school you are considering.

In comparison to national tuition averages at public four-year institutions ($9,212 for in-state students and $26,382 for out-of-state students), the national averages at Vermont colleges and universities were significantly higher ($16,604 for in-state students and $39,947 for out-of-state students). In fact, Vermont ranked as having the highest average tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students.

In terms of the national tuition average at private colleges and universities, Vermont ($46,445) ranked as having the second highest average tuition ($46,445), just behind Massachusetts($47,980).

However, tuition rates vary greatly from one institution to another within each state.

In Vermont, Bennington College, Middlebury College, and Landmark College have the highest tuition rates — with tuition ranging between $58,000 and $61,000 per year. On the other end of the spectrum, O’Briens Aveda Institute has the lowest annual tuition ($13,000) with Community College of Vermont coming in second with an in-state tuition of $6,920 and out-of-state tuition of $13,640.


In general, the total cost of attending an online college or university is significantly less than that of a traditional brick-and-mortar institution. For example, online college students are not subject to fees, such as room and board, transportation, etc. Therefore, tuition is the most meaningful way to compare costs between online colleges and universities.

Financial Aid for Online Students in Vermont

In addition to federal student aid available through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) offers three unique grant opportunities to residents of Vermont – the Vermont Incentive Grant, Vermont Part-Time Grant, and Advancement Grant.

VSAC also includes an online database of scholarships available to residents of Vermont. In addition, the Vermont State Colleges Foundation (VSCF) offers various scholarship opportunities to students attending a Vermont State College.

The Tuition Break program, which is available through the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), provides cost reductions to residents of New England — Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont — attending out-of-state public colleges and universities.

For more information about financial assistance for online students, visit our Guide to Financial Aid.

Employment Outlook for College Graduates in Vermont

As of May 2021, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the occupations listed below to have the greatest employment numbers in Vermont:

Office and Administrative Support (33,840)

Sales and Related Occupations (24,490)

Education instruction and Library Services (24,430)

Management (22,890)

Food Prep and Related Services (20,050)

In terms of state occupational growth projections by 2026, the Vermont Department of Labor projects the following occupations requiring at least a bachelor’s degree to grow the fastest:

Operations Research Analysts (2.9%)

Software Developers, Systems Software (2.3%)

Computer Systems Analysts (2.1%)

Market Research Analysts & Marketing Specialists (2.0%)

Additionally, it forecasts the following occupations requiring at least a bachelor’s degree to experience the greatest gross number of job openings by 2026:

Registered Nurses (+229 jobs)

Accountants and Auditors (+116 jobs)

Managers (+96 jobs)

General and Operational Managers (+88 jobs)

Secondary School Teachers (+71 jobs)

Elementary School Teachers (+66 jobs)

To learn more about popular career fields in Vermont — such as cybersecurity, business and teaching — visit OnlineU’s Career Guide.

FAQs About Online Colleges in Vermont

Are Online Degrees Respected?

In the wake of the pandemic, the popularity of online courses and online degree programs has grown significantly. While several years ago online degrees weren’t as widely available and accepted, today online degrees are as respected as traditional on-campus degrees. Among human resource leaders, there is an increasing acceptance of online degrees, with more than 60% perceiving online credentials to be equivalent to those earned in person.

Does Vermont Have Good Online Colleges?

The majority of online colleges and degree programs in Vermont are accredited by the NEASC, as stated above. Holding NEASC or other national and regional accreditation affirms an institution’s strong academic quality.

Use our Salary Score system to quickly and easily compare colleges to find out which schools produce top-earning graduates across majors, including from online college programs.

Are There Scholarships in Vermont for Online College?

With an increasing number of students turning to online colleges and online degree programs, many scholarship programs across the country have opened eligibility to include students pursuing online degrees. Learn more about scholarship possibilities in our 2022 Guide to Scholarships.

The Choose Vermont Scholarship, an initiative of the Vermont Department of Economic Development and Think Vermont, awarded $70,000 in scholarship aid this past year to undergraduate and graduate students committing to attend a college or university in Vermont. Scholarship eligibility includes online students.

Additionally, the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) offers a number of scholarship opportunities for residents of Vermont.

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