What's next for Green Mountain College students?

Published: Jan. 24, 2019 at 4:44 PM EST
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Students at Green Mountain College are still in disbelief after learning their school is closing at the end of the semester.

Green Mountain College was founded in 1834. It focused on environmental, social and economic sustainability. Enrollment declined steadily in recent years, dropping from 775 students to about 430.

On Wednesday, Castleton University announced it is honoring their neighbor by matching tuition and waiving application fees to allow Green Mountain students to finish their degrees. Castleton is a 15-minute drive from Green Mountain College.

"We are trying to be a hand up for those students and give them a measure of hope and show them a pathway to earn their degree," said Jeff Weld, Dean of Advancement at Castleton. "In Rutland County, staying in Vermont keeping them in a place where they choose to be."

Weld says small private schools like GMC that don't have a large endowment are struggling with the changing demographics.

"It's a disruption of the higher education industry and it's something that we need to be nimble with and prepared to deal with," Weld said.

Castleton isn't the only local school showing flexibility. Sterling College in Craftsbury and Marlboro College in Marlboro will also participate in teach-out arrangements for students at GMC.

For students looking to cross state lines, Paul Smith College in the Adirondacks has also announced a transfer agreement with Green Mountain College.

They say credits earned by students at Green Mountain are easily transferable and an application fee for prospective transfer students will not be charged.

With programs that match up to GMC's curriculum, students left without a school in May can find a new home, without that far to go.