Economic Fast Facts

AVIC members significantly expand the educational capacity and choice available to Vermont students and contribute to the state’s future workforce and leaders – citizens who will shape the economic, civic, and cultural life of Vermont.


High Impact Returns


•  Vermont’s independent colleges contribute about $1.4 billion annually to Vermont’s economy, acting as economic engines for the regions in which they are located and helping make higher education the 4th largest sector of the state economy.


•  The independent colleges employ approximately 6,295 people in a “green” industry that is a magnet for attracting and keeping talented people in Vermont.


•  Altogether the independents pay over $314 million in wages and benefits, make over $121 million in capital investments and $49.6 million in local purchases, and pay $8 million in income taxes.


•  Of the 19,000 students enrolled in independent colleges, nearly 22% are Vermonters.


•  Annually, independent colleges provide $184.8 million in student aid from their own institutional resources.


•  Independent college graduates earn 53 percent of the degrees granted in Vermont, with many students staying in the state after graduation.


Investment in the Future


•  Almost 2,000 more students come to Vermont to attend college than leave the state, enriching the workforce and taxpayer base.


•  People with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of 84% more over their lifetime than high school graduates and will consequently pay more in taxes than someone with only a high-school diploma.


•  A 2011 Pew Research Center analysis, using Census Bureau data, estimates that the typical adult with a bachelor's degree (but no further education) will earn $1.42 million over a 40-year career, compared with $770,000 for a typical high school graduate.  That $650,000 difference narrows somewhat, to $550,000, according to the analysis, after factoring in the expense of going to college and the four years of potential earnings that college graduates give up while they are in school.  That's a BIG difference.


•  College graduates are two times more likely to be employed than those who graduate from high school and are far more likely to vote, volunteer, and be involved in civic activities.


•  Among students seeking a bachelor’s degree, only 22 percent succeed within six years, compared with 65 percent at nonprofit private schools and 55 percent at public institutions.


•  Net tuition and fees — after grants and adjusted for inflation — at private institutions have actually fallen 4.1% in the last five years. (Source: NAICU 2012)