Click on the links below for answers to some of our most frequently asked admissions questions.
Vermont Academy is on a 515-acre campus in southeastern Vermont, overlooking the charming town of Saxtons River and the Connecticut River Valley. Like most towns in Vermont, Saxtons River is small, safe, and surrounded by the picturesque Green Mountains. Saxtons River is close to many ski/snowboarding areas, including Stratton, Okemo, and Bromley. In addition, we are 30-45 minutes from Brattleboro, Vermont, two hours from Boston, Massachusetts, and three and a half hours from New York City. The closest airport is Bradley International, in Hartford, Connecticut, which is less than two hours from campus. Families can arrange transportation from the airport to campus with Thomas Transportation (1-800-526-8143). Please refer to our Website “Directions” section for more detailed information.
There is regular north-south Amtrak service to Bellows Falls (5 miles from campus) on the Vermonter. Tickets can be purchased online at Amtrak.com. Taxi service is available from Bellows Falls to campus only by previous arrangement. Call Bellows Falls Taxi at 802-463-4600 to make a reservation.
Each candidate is unique, yet there are a few traits they all have in common: They are active participants with a generous spirit. They all want to be successful academically, athletically, creatively, and socially, and they are eager to become the best they can be --confident and independent learners. They like to be involved in small classroom discussions, where they know their voice is heard. They like to participate in sports and activities where their contributions are recognized. Most importantly, they want to be an integral part of a community, where they are valued for who they are and what they have to offer. In essence, they are looking for opportunities to discover their talents and learn to take risks. They may be scholars, athletes, or artists when they arrive, but when they graduate they are all three. Students consider Vermont Academy for many reasons. They may want to continue the same success they found in their middle school with our special combination of structure and support. Others find that they are not able to reach their potential in their current academic setting. Still others are looking for “one of life’s great adventures,” as one alumnus put it.
February 15 is the date all paperwork must be received by the admissions office in order to be considered in the first-round of applications, after which we are on “rolling admissions,” or a space-available basis. If forms are received after this date, we cannot guarantee that the file will be reviewed before our decision letters and reservation agreements are mailed on March 10. April 10 is the due date for the return of reservation agreements and deposits.
An on-campus interview is strongly recommended. In order to get a real understanding of the culture of Vermont Academy, we want you to see the school in action--students and teachers absorbed in class discussions, meeting friends on the Long Walk, and enjoying a delicious meal in Shepardson Center. If it is impossible for families to travel to Vermont Academy, we can arrange telephone interviews or an interview with one of our local alumni. The best time to visit is in the fall, when the leaves are turning brilliant colors. We schedule appointments from 8:45 am to 2:30 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and 8:45 am to 11 am on Wednesday. In winter, our schedule is modified slightly. All visits need to be scheduled through the admissions office. Because of the volume of visitors, we ask that you call two weeks in advance.
When reviewing an applicant’s file, the admissions committee members treat each section of the application as one piece of the puzzle. They consider a student’s potential as well as accomplishments. They look for successful experiences in all areas of a student’s life, not just in school. A student’s character, interests, and desire to be part of a community are as important as the grade point average or standardized test score.
Vermont, with our 515-acre campus nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains, is a perfect setting for learning and enjoying the environment; Place-Based Education, our tight-knit community and unique Vermont setting combine to create a deep appreciation for our environment, which profoundly shapes and influences the Vermont Academy experience; Personal Attention, with a 7:1 student/teacher ratio and more than 84 percent of the faculty living on or close to campus; Process Learning, which is the process of gathering information (and learning to ask the questions), rather than focusing only on the end result (just getting the answers). Students have many hands-on opportunities to show their knowledge through team projects, presentations, and papers, as well as tests and quizzes. In addition to our honors and advanced level courses, we offer AP test preparation in a tutorial format in all the subjects offered in our curriculum, and typically one third of our seniors take AP tests.
VA partners with Systems Plus to offer laptops and service to our community at discounted prices. For complete information on VA's laptop purchase information, please click here. Students may also bring their own computers to school. Academic buildings have printers for student use. Every building on campus has wireless Internet. VA uses an Internet filter used by many schools that blocks sites with adult content, violence, etc. Internet access is turned off during evening study hall hours and will be turned back on afterward. The usual Internet hours are 6 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. Seniors and PGs have 24-hour-a-day access, and increased access is available for students with solid academic performance. Tech Proctors are tech-savvy VA students that help the IT dept. Tech proctors can also answer general VA related technology questions, help you add printers, show you how to back-up your data, access network drives, work with VA email, etc.
Vermont Academy offers a number of environmental classes each year, generally including Environmental Studies, Ecology and Earth Systems Science. These are exciting, hands-on courses that get you outside a lot and they are very project oriented. Additionally we have some great outdoor sports and recreation programs (Outdoor Challange, Mountain Biking, Skiing/Snowboarding, Rock Climbing) and program called "Vermont Environs" which includes faculty and students who work together to help our school and our community to celebrate the natural world and become more environmentally sustainable. Each fall, Vermont & Environs works with the Connecticut River Watershed Council to help clean up the Saxtons River (which flows past Vermont Academy into the Connecticut River--eventually making it out to the ocean). We're also working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to bring the Atlantic Salmon back from the edge of extinction by incubating wild salmon eggs in the science department. In the spring we also organize a pretty cool Earth Day event and try to get as many students and teachers involved as possible.
We have a vocal ensemble, jazz ensemble and chamber ensemble, all of which feature music from all genres. Participating students meet two times per week during H period to rehearse. String players also have an opportunity to play with the Windham Orchestra, a community symphony orchestra. Transportation is provided. Our private lesson program is large and diverse, with over 30 students participating this year. Students have a lesson one time per week during a free period and can receive academic credit if they desire. (Some students might want to just take a lesson for fun, not with a grade attached.) Lesson types include drums, piano, guitar, voice, cello, violin, flute, double and electric bass, and brass instruments. Lessons are taught by our music faculty as well as adjunct teachers who are local professional musicians and performers. For more info on our music program, see our music page.
Model UN, World Quest, National Honor Society, Cum Laude Society, Math club, Cooking Club, Gay-Straight Alliance, and Environmental Club
There are numerous ways in which students can take the lead at VA. Those interested in student government may serve on the Vermont Academy Student Association (VASA), or on the VA Honor Council. Students demonstrating strong citizenship and leadership qualities may be asked to serve as dormitory or day proctors. Tech proctors, chosen for their strong computer skills, are students who help our IT department. Other opportunities to serve incude tour guides, mentors for young school students at the Saxtons River Elementary School, head waiters, VA Cafe workers and more.
At Vermont Academy, our dress code represents our values: the seriousness of learning; importance of community; respect for ourselves and others; as well as an appreciation of individual expression. During school functions or special occasions, students are expected to dress in a manner consistent with the seriousness and/or formality of the setting. At all times, clothing must be neat, clean and in good repair. Details on our dress code are available in our student handbook.