Senator Sanders invites you to attend a Vermont College Fair
Vermont ranks near the top among the states in terms of high school graduation rates. Fully 88% of our kids leave high school with a diploma. This is quite an achievement. All of us – parents, educators, community members and most of all, our hardworking students – should feel great pride in that accomplishment.
The bad news is that Vermont has one of the country’s lowest college enrollment rates. While 75 percent of our high school students say they want to pursue postsecondary education, just 53-59 percent (depending on the survey) actually enroll. Not surprisingly, this ‘college aspiration gap’ is widest for students whose parents did not go to college, students from low-income families, and students with disabilities.
Like any complex issue, there is no simple solution to Vermont’s low college enrollment rate. But at a time when a college education is more important than ever, we must do everything possible to make sure every student who has the desire and the ability can further their education and career prospects. Fifty years ago, a high school diploma was enough for many people to get a decent middle class job. That is no longer the case. While not all middle-class jobs in today's economy require post-high school education, an increasing number do.
That is why Bernie is sponsoring two college fairs in partnership with the Vermont State Colleges and the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. These are opportunities for students and their families to learn about college opportunities right here in Vermont, as well as the financial aid options that may be available. We will even have access to computer labs to learn more about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).