The University of Vermont gave prospective students who live in the Green Mountain State an early Christmas present Tuesday.
Under a new program that will start for the class entering in the fall of 2017, students could benefit from a fill-in-the-gap financial assistance program directed at Vermonters who qualify for federal Pell Grants.
Their UVM tuition would already be covered by financial aid, but that does not cover fees that amount to a sizable sum — about $2,750 annually.
Now that part of the bill will disappear.
The Catamount Commitment guarantees that all Vermonters receiving Pell grants pay no tuition and no comprehensive fee — expected to be $17,732 in the 2017-18 school year.
Many Pell Grant recipients are first-generation college students from families with incomes below $30,000 annually.
The new pledge is about more than money. Catamount students will be invited to participate in special social events, workshops and academic mentoring programs. The goal is to remove barriers to higher education, UVM president Tom Sullivan said in a prepared statement.
UVM has 10,267 undergraduates. Vermonters represent 28 percent of the total; the rest come from out of state. The total student population, counting graduate and nondegree students, is 13,105.