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Sterling College

Craftsbury Common, VT


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The College

Sterling College is a small and progressive liberal arts college in northern Vermont. The college's small size, its environmental focus, and its commitment to grassroots sustainability all make the college unique. Sterling College knows that the most rewarding learning is hands-on learning. Whether offered on campus in a laboratory or seminar room, on the side of a mountain, or in a barn or pasture, classes at Sterling are small and foster experiential learning and deep inquiry through close relationships between faculty members and students.

Sterling College removes the barriers between living one's life and learning. It is for the student who wants to commit to becoming an environmental steward and looks forward to the rigor and challenge of working with both hands and mind.


Sterling College offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in ecology, environmental humanities, outdoor education, sustainable agriculture, and sustainable food systems. Students can also choose to design their own majors, and some examples include "Agroecology," "Environmental Justice," "Conservation Education," and "International Agriculture and Business."

The typical class size at Sterling is 10, and the student-to-faculty member ratio is 7 to 1. Sterling's faculty is composed of 17 full-time members and 17 part-time members. Eighty-five percent of the professors hold advanced degrees. All new students, accompanied by 5 to 6 faculty members, take part in Winter Expedition, a 4-day, 3-night trek along the ridge of the nearby Lowell Mountain Range. Expedition is a 48 year tradition at Sterling College.

Authentic Sustainability

Sterling was among the very first colleges in the United States to link the liberal arts to ecology, outdoor education, environmental humanities, and sustainable agriculture. Sterling believes that the wellbeing of humanity depends on small, interconnected communities, committed to conscientious practices in agriculture and energy use, and in stewardship of the air, soil, and water.

In 2013, Sterling College became the 3rd college in the US, and the first college in Vermont, to announce its intention to divest its endowment from fossil fuels.


Students are part of the daily work of the college. Regardless of financial need, all students work on campus, whether in the kitchen, on the farm, in the woodshop, or elsewhere. Sterling College is one of only 7 colleges recognized by the federal government as a Work College -- a college where student work is an integral and mandatory part of the educational process, as opposed to being an appended requirement. Sterling is also the only Work College in the northeast.

A highlight of the Sterling education is a 10-week, 6-credit internship anywhere in the world. Internships in agriculture, cross-cultural education, ecotourism, environmental education, hydrology, land and resource management, outdoor education and leadership, and wildlife rehabilitation and research are popular options.


At Sterling, students, faculty members, and staff members not only live together, they work to create community together. Sterling College strives to be an educational community in which people of all backgrounds and identities feel at home, where differences are embraced, and where individuals take responsibility for furthering the dignity of all.

Sterling is small, and will remain so by design. It is the only college in the nation where the entire community of students and faculty members sit together each week for community meeting. Everyone is on a first name basis, including the president, deans, and faculty members.

Community life is informal. Sterling College students aren't as interested in the kind of structured events and clubs found on most campuses -- they're more likely to enjoy a long weekend of hiking, a lively evening of contra dancing, caring for beehives with friends, snowshoeing at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, or sitting by a bonfire at the college's lean-tos above the Black River. However, there are three athletic teams on campus: Nordic skiing, mountain and trail running, and shooting sports.

Location and Campus

Sterling's rural location is one of the college's most prized characteristics. The campus boasts 130 acres, with an additional 300 acres of boreal research forest. The campus has 16 residential, administrative, and classroom buildings. Facilities include a woodshop, a darkroom, 2 computer rooms and an environmental science computer lab, 2 greenhouses, and the Brown Library. Outdoor teaching facilities include a challenge course with a climbing wall, a managed wood lot, recreation and nature trails, large organic gardens, and a diverse livestock farm with solar- and wind-powered barns. Students spend about 40% of their class time outside the traditional classroom setting.

This region of Vermont is known as the "Northeast Kingdom," and is an international destination for outdoor sports and adventure. There are 4 ski areas within 45 minutes of the college. When city life beckons, however, Burlington is about an hour or so away.

Location & Contact

Address PO Box 72
Craftsbury Common, VT  05827
United States
Moxie Mehegan 
Dean of Admission & Financial Aid
802-586-7711 ext 100

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Majors & Degrees

Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, And Related Sciences Associate Bachelors
Agriculture, General Checkmark
Agroecology And Sustainable Agriculture Checkmark
Plant Sciences, Other Checkmark
Biological And Biomedical Sciences Associate Bachelors
Conservation Biology Checkmark
Ecology Checkmark
Ecology, Evolution, Systematics And Population Biology, Other Checkmark
Education Associate Bachelors
Education, Other Checkmark
Liberal Arts And Sciences, General Studies And Humanities Associate Bachelors
Liberal Arts And Sciences, General Studies And Humanities, Other Checkmark
Natural Resources And Conservation Associate Bachelors
Environmental Studies Checkmark
Environmental/natural Resources Management And Policy, Other Checkmark
Forestry, Other Checkmark
Natural Resources And Conservation, Other Checkmark
Wildlife, Fish And Wildlands Science And Management Checkmark
Parks, Recreation, Leisure And Fitness Studies Associate Bachelors
Outdoor Education Checkmark
Parks, Recreation, And Leisure Studies Checkmark


Acceptance Rate

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Female Admissions

Females Applied
Females Accepted
Acceptance Rate
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Male Admissions

Males Applied
Males Accepted
Acceptance Rate


Application Fee
Avg. high school GPA for freshman
Admission Requirements
Required Interview
2 recommendations
Recommended Transcript of high school record

Application Deadlines

Type Application Closing Notification Date Rolling Admissions
Fall freshmen Not reported Not reported Yes
Other early decision plan Not reported Not reported
Transfer Not reported Not reported Yes

Tuition & Fees

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Full-time student fees
Room & board
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Other Payment Considerations

Guaranteed tuition plan offered No
Tuition pre-payment plan No

Financial Aid

Avg. Financial Aid Package
Avg. Freshman Financial Aid Package
Avg. International Student Financial Aid Package
Avg. Loan Aid
Avg. Grant Aid
Avg. Scholarship and/or Grant Aid awarded
100% Percentage of students with need who receive financial aid
Avg. Percentage of Financial Need Met
Percentage of Students Who Had Their Need Fully Met

Student Body

Total Undergrad students
International Students
Out-of-state students


Hispanic/Latino 1.61%
Black or African American 1.61%
White or Caucasian 71.77%
Asian 4.03%
Two or more races 2.42%
Other 12.9%


Male (43.17%)
Female (56.83%)

Campus Life


College-owned housing Yes
Housing requirements Yes
Housing options Cooperative housing
Co-ed housing
Women-only housing
Freshman car parking
% of undergrad students who live in college housing 85%

Student Activities

Student-run campus newspaper Checkmark
Drama/theatre group Checkmark
Student-run radio station Checkmark
Student-run television station Checkmark
Marching band Checkmark
Choral groups Checkmark
Campus events:
All College Work Day, Town Meeting and Wood and Art Show

Student Services

Legal services Checkmark
Health clinic Checkmark
Personal/psychological counseling Checkmark
Women's center Checkmark
International students advisor Checkmark

Student Organizations

Greek fraternities
Greek sororities
Local fraternities
Local sororities
Most popular organizations:
Nordic Ski Team, Trail Running Team, Shooting Club, Environmental and Social Justice Club and Outdoor Club

Campus Security & Safety

24-hour emergency telephone/alarm services Checkmark
24-hour patrols by trained officers Checkmark
Student patrols Checkmark
Late-night transport/escort services Checkmark
Electronically-operated dormitory entrances Checkmark
Other Campus Security & Safety:
24-hour pager


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Men's Sports

Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
Cross-country Running Checkmark No No
Riflery Checkmark No No
Skiing (cross-country) No Checkmark No
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Women's Sports

Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
Cross-country Running Checkmark No No
Riflery Checkmark No No
Skiing (cross-country) No Checkmark No
Update my info
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Sterling College
Update my info
Your submission to Sterling College has been sent.