• The Sterling College community combines structured academic study with experiential challenges and plain hard work to build responsible problems solvers who become stewards of the environment as they pursue productive lives.

School Highlights

Sterling College serves 146 students (77% of students are full-time).
The college's student:teacher ratio of 3:1 is lower than the state community college average of 9:1.
Minority enrollment is 39% of the student body (majority Hispanic and Asian), which is more than the state average of 25%.

Quick Stats (2022-23)

  • Enrollment: 146 students
  • Private-state tuition: $33,492
  • Acceptance Rate: 86%
  • Student:teacher ratio: 3:1
  • Minority enrollment: 39%
  • Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)

Top Rankings

Sterling College ranks among the top 20% of public schools in Vermont for:

School Overview

The teacher population of 46 teachers has grown by 155% over five years.
Sterling College
(VT) Community College Avg.
Carnegie Classification
Baccalaureate Colleges: Arts & Sciences Focus
Baccalaureate Colleges: Arts & Sciences Focus
Institution Level
Four or more years
Four or more years
Institution Control
Private not-for-profit
Private not-for-profit
Total Faculty
46 staff
270 staff
This chart display total faculty of Sterling College and community college average number of faculty in VT by year, with the latest 2019-20 school year data.

Student Body

The student population of Sterling College has grown by 25% over five years.
The student:teacher ratio of 3:1 has decreased from 6:1 over five years.
The Sterling College diversity score of 0.57 is more than the state average of 0.42. The school's diversity has stayed relatively flat over five years.
Total Enrollment
146 students
1,422 students
This chart display the total enrollment of Sterling College and community college average number of enrollment of VT by year, with the latest 2019-20 school year data.
Student : Teacher Ratio
3:1
9:1
This chart display the student staff ratio of Sterling College and community college average student staff ratio of VT by year, with the latest 2019-20 school year data.
# Full-Time Students
112 students
751 students
This chart display the total number of Full-Time students enrollment of Sterling College and average number of community college Full-Time students enrollment of VT by year, with the latest 2019-20 school year data.
# Part-Time Students
34 students
671 students
This chart display the total number of Part-Time students enrollment of Sterling College and average number of community college Part-Time students enrollment of VT by year, with the latest 2019-20 school year data.
This chart display the Full-Time students and Part-Time students enrollment breakdown of Sterling College.
This chart display community college average Full-Time students and Part-Time students enrollment breakdown of VT.
Total Dormitory Capacity
118 students
494 students
This chart display the dormitory capacity of Sterling College and the community college average dormitory capacity of VT by year, with the latest 2019-20 school year data.
% American Indian/Alaskan
1%
n/a
% Asian
2%
2%
This chart display the percentage of Asian students in Sterling College and the percentage of Asian community college students in VT by year, with the latest 2019-20 school year data.
% Hispanic
3%
5%
This chart display the percentage of Hispanic students in Sterling College and the percentage of Hispanic community college students in VT by year, with the latest 2019-20 school year data.
% Black
1%
4%
This chart display the percentage of Black students in Sterling College and the percentage of Black community college students in VT by year, with the latest 2019-20 school year data.
% White
61%
75%
This chart display the percentage of White students in Sterling College and the percentage of White community college students in VT by year, with the latest 2019-20 school year data.
% Hawaiian
1%
n/a
% Two or more races
3%
4%
This chart display the percentage of Two or more races students in Sterling College and the percentage of Two or more races community college students in VT by year, with the latest 2019-20 school year data.
% Non Resident races
5%
2%
This chart display the percentage of Non Resident students in Sterling College and the percentage of Non Resident community college students in VT by year, with the latest 2019-20 school year data.
% Unknown races
23%
8%
This chart display the percentage breakdown of students of all ethnic groups in Sterling College.
This chart display the percentage breakdown of students of all ethnic groups in VT.
Diversity Score
0.57
0.42
This chart display the diversity score of Sterling College and the community college average diversity score of VT by year, with the latest 2019-20 school year data.
Average Graduate Earnings (10 Years) (Year 2008)
$26,500
$33,600

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

The private state tuition of $33,492 is less than the state average of $38,857. The private state tuition has declined by 8% over four years.
Private State Tuition Fees
$33,492
$38,857
This chart display tuition fees for an in-state student of Sterling College and the private community college average tuition fees for an in-state student of VT by year, with the latest 2019-20 school year data.
% Students Receiving Some Financial Aid
95%
95%
This chart display the percent of students who is receiving some financial aid in Sterling College and the percent of community college students who is receiving some financial aid in VT by year, with the latest 2019-20 school year data.
Median Debt for Graduates
$18,133
$14,250
This chart display median debt for students who have completed a certificate or degree in Sterling College and average median debt for community college students who have completed a certificate or degree in VT by year, with the latest 2018-19 school year data.
Median Debt for Dropouts
$5,500
$5,500
This chart display median debt for students who have not completed a certificate or degree in Sterling College and average median debt for community college students who have not completed a certificate or degree in VT by year, with the latest 2018-19 school year data.
Acceptance Rate
86%
67%
This chart display the percent admitted of Sterling College and the community college average percent admitted of VT by year, with the latest 2019-20 school year data.
SAT Reading
n/a
455
SAT Math
n/a
485
SAT Writing
n/a
435
ACT Composite
n/a
21
ACT English
n/a
19
ACT Math
n/a
21
Source: 2020 (or latest year available) Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)

School Notes

  • Sterling was founded by Norman Rioux in 1958 as a boys' college preparatory school. It was named after Margaret Sterling, the deceased wife of Douglas Field. Mr. Field was one of several Berkshire School (MA) faculty members who came here with Mr. Rioux. When the alternative preparatory school market waned in the early 1970s, Sterling was well positioned to respond creatively. First came the Academic Short Course in Outdoor Leadership, a 21-day program for 13 to 16 year olds. It brought hundreds of young people to Sterling for an intense winter learning experience. The Short Course solidified women's presence on campus to share equally in the benefits of a Sterling education. An extension of this idea became the year-long Grassroots project, an immediate success that led Sterling into the world of higher education. Sterling's first Associate of Arts Degree in Resource Management was awarded in 1982. Full accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges was granted in 1987. Several members of the Grassroots Faculty continue to teach at the College today. Facilities on the hundred-plus acre Sterling College campus include fourteen residential, administrative, and classroom buildings, a woodworking shop, and library. Outdoor teaching facilities include a managed woodlot, a challenge course, a 30-foot climbing tower, organic gardens, and a working livestock farm with two solar/wind powered barns. Much of what is grown and raised is consumed in the dining hall. The Center for Northern Studies at Sterling College includes a 300-acre boreal wetland and a building containing a library, science lab, seminar rooms, offices, and central lounge. Sterling College offers bachelor's degrees in Conservation Ecology, Outdoor Education and Leadership, Northern Studies, Self-Designed Studies and Sustainable Agriculture.

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Quick Stats (2022-23)

  • Enrollment: 146 students
  • Private-state tuition: $33,492
  • Acceptance Rate: 86%
  • Student:teacher ratio: 3:1
  • Minority enrollment: 39%
  • Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)

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