Tuition cut for students attending the new Vermont State University

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 5:05 PM EDT
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JOHNSON, Vt. (WCAX) - The Vermont State Colleges System announced tuition cuts for all students in the inaugural year of Vermont State University.

When students heard about the cuts to their tuition-- whether it was a lot or a little-- they were excited.

“It definitely does break down a lot of barriers,” said Ellaina Murphy, a freshman.

“I won’t have to take out as many loans so I won’t be in debt, owing no crazy dollars,” said Nazier Gossette, a junior.

Murphy, an in-state student, and Gossette, from Philadelphia, both benefit from the new Vermont State College Systems tuition cuts.

“Some savings is definitely better than none,” Gossette said.

The Vermont State Colleges System announced the new in-state tuition of $9,999 and out-of-state base tuition of $19,998.

“We decided to lower the tuition for our inaugural class,” said Parwinder Grewal, the inaugural president of Vermont State University.

Grewal says affordability for the new system was step one.

“We needed to restructure our tuition anyway,” Grewal said.

He says when NVU, Vermont Technical College and Castleton came together, a balancing needed to be done and bringing down tuition across the board just made sense.

“The reason we did this is college affordability as you know, as we talked about is a big factor,” Grewal said.

Grewal hopes lowering tuition will incentivize more students to take advantage of Vermont’s college system. He also believes it makes the schools more competitive in the region and will increase retention.

Perry Ragouzis, a Colorado native and student trustee from Castleton, agrees.

“This is a decision made for the future,” he said.

Ragouzis voted on this tuition cut. He hopes other students feel supported by this decision.

“Having that price tag reduced is going to just draw in new students and also keep me here,” Ragouzis said.

More Johnson students agree.

“College is a really valuable place to go and making that more available for those that can’t pay more is really good,” said Zoe Ukasick, a freshman.

Ragouzis also mentioned that many students search online for their schools and there are filters to eliminate schools based solely on price. He knows high school students use that, so being in the price range that will allow these schools to show up no matter the price filter used he thinks will be huge.