POULTNEY, Vt., Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Green Mountain College is seeing an increase in new student enrollment this fall. GMC President Paul J. Fonteyn believes he knows why.
"We set the pace for the sustainability movement in higher education and we are not going to slow this down. Students are more and more attracted to our career-driven degree programs. These programs go way beyond the traditional classroom, so that graduates are equipped to pursue a life worth living in the context of the world's most pressing challenges," said GMC's president, now in his fifth year at the helm of GMC.
The College's strong sustainability mission is also an attribute that students value. A recent Princeton Review study revealed that 69% of college applicants said "having information about a college's commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or attend a school."
For the third year in a row, GMC was nationally ranked by Sierra magazine for the College's academic programs, research, energy usage and food sourcing, and ranked 11th overall in the magazine's "Coolest Schools" issue. GMC is the top private liberal arts college listed. Yesterday The Princeton Review named Green Mountain College to the Green Honor Roll as part of its Best 377 Colleges: 2013 Edition. GMC scored a perfect 99 on the Review's rating scale.
"One of the goals of Green Mountain is its active focus on sustainability and teaching all of their incoming students to live responsibly as global citizens," the Best 377 Colleges reports. "In fact, the college has a set of thirty-seven credit, core classes known as the Environmental Liberal Arts, which combines a liberal arts education with a strong focus on the environment."
Fonteyn said the College is also making a significant effort to make a Green Mountain College education affordable. Currently 94% of all GMC students receive financial aid, with over 90% receiving institutional support, to help offset the cost of their college education. Approximately a quarter of GMC students are the first in their family to attend college or university.
The push for affordability and environmental sustainability also seems to resonate locally. The number of new Vermont students coming to GMC increased 100% this year.
"We'd like applicants to know they have the option of attending Green Mountain College and that opportunity is not out of reach financially," said Fonteyn. "With a 14:1 student to teacher ratio, we can offer students personalized attention they can't always find in a large university. It's a matter of providing more choice in a market where there is a lot of confusion about the costs of attending college."
Founded in 1834, Green Mountain College is a private liberal arts institution with 750 students and recently became the nation's first campus to achieve climate neutrality through a combination of efficiency, large-scale adoption of clean energy, and purchase of local carbon offsets. The College has set an ambitious new goal in its eight-year strategic plan: to achieve authentic sustainability by the year 2020.
SOURCE Green Mountain College