Graduate From a college or university in Vermont? You could be eligible for $5,000 in student loan repayment

The Green Mountain Job and Retention Program provides financial incentives to retain talent in Vermont and bolster the state’s workforce

VermontBiz The State of Vermont, the University of Vermont (UVM) and the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) are extending the Green Mountain Job and Retention Program (GMJRP) and are providing up to $5,000 in student loan repayment. This program incentivizes graduates from Vermont colleges and universities to stay, live and work in Vermont.

graduate students

Students who graduated from a Vermont college or university between December 2023 and June 2024 with either a bachelor’s or master’s degree, who live in Vermont and will be working full-time with a Vermont-based employer for two years after graduation, are eligible for up to $5,000 in loan repayment: $2,500 after their first year of employment and $2,500 after the second year. This offer is open to graduates from any Vermont college or university. 

Changes in this second year of the program include adding the master’s degree eligibility, being hired in a role that does not specifically require a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and expanded eligibility to applicants who are starting their own companies. 

The GMJRP launched last year and provided 169 recent graduates from all 14 counties and across all Vermont’s higher education institutions with loan repayment options. These graduates are now working in at least 45 companies and organizations, from non-profit, for profit, and government entities.

“Reducing student debt was very appealing to the many graduates who took advantage of our program in the first year,” said Michele Karode, senior outreach professional and GMJRP program director at the UVM Office of Engagement. “This year we hope to award 450 loan repayment packages, which we know will continue to move the needle on workforce development in Vermont,” added Karode.

“The Green Mountain Job and Retention Program assists new graduates by easing the costs of college, housing, and living expenses," said Genevieve Prefontaine, who works at UVM Medical Center and lives in Alburgh. She received an award in the program’s pilot year after graduating from UVM with a nursing degree. "Hospitals struggle to keep employees as many leave to become traveling nurses, seeking jobs with more benefits. This program is crucial for keeping new nurses at UVMMC,” she said.

Eligible Vermont post-secondary universities and colleges include: Bennington College, Champlain College, Goddard College, Landmark College, Middlebury College, Norwich University, Saint Michael’s College, Sterling College, University of Vermont, Vermont Law School, and all Vermont State University campuses (Lyndon, Castleton, Johnson, Randolph, and Williston).

“Young adults choose Vermont for higher education because they love to live, work, and play in the Green Mountain State. They have a proven affinity for all Vermont has to offer. The Green Mountain Job and Retention Program partnership encourages them to launch their careers here, while providing Vermont with talented, qualified young workers,” noted Scott Giles, VSAC president and CEO. “This innovative loan repayment program assists Vermont’s youngest workers to accomplish their goals and gain valuable work experience—while helping them reduce the debt on their education investment.”

“We have a shortage of early educators in Vermont. This program helps to incentivize recent graduates from local colleges and universities who have already created a strong sense of community through student teaching and summer employment opportunities to stay and work after their internships," said Ashley McKinley, executive director of Heartworks preschool in Shelburne. "We have included it as part of our conversations when discussing our benefits package to help in our recruiting efforts. It is a valuable program that can help teachers who are struggling to live and work here in Vermont.”

To learn more about this program or submit an application, visit Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis starting June 3, 2024. Read this press release online:


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