From the School

Sterling College is a small and progressive liberal arts college in northern Vermont. Our small size, our environmental focus, and our commitment to grassroots sustainability all make us 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 and students.

Students will gain insight into theory, integrate research into study, and learn how to use tools such as a chainsaw, a compass, and a tractor as part of daily life.

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.


From The School

We endeavor to enroll a diverse student population reflecting a broad range of interests and lived experiences. Good students who have demonstrated a commitment to the values that underlie Sterling's mission-a concern for environmental stewardship, social justice, and personal integrity-are strongly encouraged to apply.

Sterling College offers admission to both first-time college applicants and transfer applicants. Application review at Sterling is a highly individualized process, characterized by a personal approach. In arriving at an admission decision, the College looks for evidence of a combination of the following characteristics:
Academic preparation, intellectual curiosity, and creativity
Passion for environmental stewardship and social justice
Enthusiasm for hard work and interest in seeking out challenges
Interest in experiential education and intrepid outlook on learning
Desire to be part of a small community in a rural location

High school seniors who wish to receive an early response to their application may apply for Early Action or Early Decision. For Early Decision, a completed application must be on file by November 15 to be notified of a decision on or before December 15. For Early Action, a completed application must be on file on or before December 15 to be notified of a decision on or before January 15. All other applicants are encouraged to submit applications before June 1 for fall enrollment, January 1 for spring enrollment, and April 1 for summer enrollment. Once completed, an application is reviewed for admission within two weeks.


Acceptance Rate
Average HS GPA

GPA Breakdown

Over 3.75
3.50 - 3.74
3.25 - 3.49
3.00 - 3.24
2.50 - 2.99
2.00 - 2.49
1.00 - 1.99

Test Scores

SAT Reading
SAT Math
ACT Composite


Early Decision
November 15

April 1

Other Admission Factors


Rigor of Secondary School Record
Academic GPA
Application Essay

Level of applicant's interest


From The School

Academic Programs

A Sterling education is both local and global. Through Global Field Studies, students and faculty have the opportunity to travel together to look at issues related to environmental stewardship and to experience rich ecological and cultural diversity. Recent programs have included experiences in the Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Israel, Maine, and the Sierra Nevada.

The typical class size at Sterling is 10, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 7 to 1. Sterling's faculty is composed of 17 full-time members and 17 part-time members. 85 percent of the professors hold an advanced degree. In a continuous attempt to bring learning to life, professors teach in both traditional and experiential ways.

All new students, accompanied by 5 to 6 faculty members, take part in Winter Expedition, a four-day, three-night trek along the ridge of the nearby Lowell Mountain Range. Expedition is a 47 year tradition at Sterling College.

Majors and Degrees Offered

Sterling College offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in Ecology, Environmental Humanities, Outdoor Education, and Sustainable Agriculture. Students can also choose to design their own major, and some examples include Agroecology, Envrionmental Justice, Conservation Education, and International Agriculture and Business.

Students Say

Sterling College "is a small (but growing) Christian, liberal arts college that aims to teach students how to live and learn and serve" and to "integrate faith into everyday life." This "Christ-centered, servant leader-driven institution" boasts a "widely acclaimed Education program," in particular a "great elementary education program," "strong theater and music departments," and an "atmosphere [that] is fantastic." The consensus among students is that "this college is about faith, servant leadership, and education." Sterling's "sense of community," its "Christian atmosphere and [its] close-knit student body" are among the school's hallmarks, "but there certainly [are] a number of people [who] do not hold to that worldview…as a general rule, students do mix well together." Students are generally fond of Sterling's "small class sizes, knowledgeable professors, [and] easy access to faculty." According to one student, "my professors all care about my success and how I do in class…I am not just a number here at Sterling College."

Faculty and Class Information

Total Faculty
with Terminal Degree


Most frequent class size
2 - 9
Most frequent lab / sub section size
2 - 9

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years



Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School


Prominent Alumni

Kim McIntyre '04
Outward Bound Instructor, Year-Round (MN and MT)

Erin Small '00
USFS-Fire Planner for New England Forests

Christina Goodwin '02
Director-Nat. Resources Conservation District (VT)

Adam Lewandowski '02
Wildlife Habitat Enhancer -Nature Conservancy (CA)

Matt Dolski '01
Erosion and Sediment Control Resource Cons. (PA)

Paige Kitson '04
Omega Institute for Holistic Health (NY)

Chantal Deojay '00
Farm Manager at Farm & Wilderness Camps (VT)


From The School

Tuition, Room, Board and Fees

Tuition for the 2013-14 academic year is $28,978, room and board is $8498, and fees are $766.

Financial Aid

College is a big investment, but Sterling College offers robust financial aid packages, and the Office of Admission and Financial Aid works closely with students and families to plan an affordable path to graduation. Sterling College also awards over $1 million each year in need and merit based grants and scholarships. All students determined to have financial need receive assistance, and participation in the Work Program earns each student additional funds that help offset the cost of attendance.


Financial Aid Rating
Application Deadlines
Notification Date
Feb 1

Required Forms

State Aid

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Average amount of loan debt per graduate

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package

Financial aid provided to international students

Expenses per Academic Year

Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodoloy
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants
Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)

Direct Lender


From The School

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 seven colleges recognized by the federal government as a Work Collegea 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.

Besides working on campus, a highlight of the Sterling education is a ten-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.

"I was drawn to Sterling because of the work program. I know that at the end of four years I will walk away from Sterling with a resume full of work and life experiences that any employer would find of interest. A college education here trains you to be a leader through engaged practice in community living."-Allyson Makuch '15

Students Say

The typical student at Sterling "is a firm believer in Christ and is involved in extracurricular activities." As would be expected with most faith-based colleges, "most students…come from a religious background." On top of which, many come "from a small town environment" and want "a conservative and safe" place to study and practice their faith. "Students typically socialize with everyone during lunch, during class, and after class; all of this is made easier by the on-campus living requirement." Sterling students inform us that theirs is a student body "who [tries] to be faithful and are very accepting." "There are a lot of different types of students at Sterling College, and it makes out to be quite the melting pot." "You have your athletes…you have your hardcore Christians…you have students who go to Sterling College for an education, you have theater [and] music students." But above all else, Sterling students tell us that their school "wants to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith."

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Out of State

Foreign Countries Represented



49% female
51% male
77% are out of state
98% are full time
2% are part time


From The School


Sterling students love living in Craftsbury Common. The focal point of the village is the "Common" and the quintessential New England white clapboard buildings that border it. This area of Vermont is also a place of innovation, and is an important center for a revolution in rural food systems of farms and enterprises such as Pete's Greens, Hill Farmstead Brewery, High Mowing Seeds, Jasper Hill Cheese, and Vermont Soy, just to name a few.

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

Campus Facilities & Equipment

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 sixteen residential, administrative, and classroom buildings. Facilities include a woodshop, a darkroom, two computer rooms and an environmental science computer lab, two 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 solarand wind-powered barns. Students spend abou 40 percent of their class time outside the traditional classroom setting.

Off-Campus Opportunities

At Sterling we not only live together, we 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.

Professors at Sterling are united by an affinity for small-town life, ecological awareness, a strong interest in relating human experience to natural resources, and a determination to work with students as whole people.

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 sit together each week for community meeting. Everyone is on a first name basis, including the president, deans, and faculty.

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.

Student Organizations & Activities

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 sixteen residential, administrative, and classroom buildings. Facilities include a woodshop, a darkroom, two computer rooms and an environmental science computer lab, two 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 solarand wind-powered barns. Students spend abou 40 percent of their class time outside the traditional classroom setting.

Students Say

Sterling College places a large "emphasis on Christian values" and fostering "a good Christian environment." As one student tells us, Sterling is "a big family with lots of rules, but [a] great community." The "strictness of some rules," such as "visitation hours," has been cited by some students as "a bit ridiculous." "We know what is right and wrong, and we should be given the chance to make certain decisions and face consequences" The nearby town of Sterling "is small, but wonderful," and not exactly teeming with activity. "You have to travel to Wichita or Hutchinson to go shopping or find something to do," and they are "only a short drive away." But "we make our own fun," one student tells us. "There are a lot of campus activities, [and] student life is very interesting if you are involved," which is highly advisable seeing as all Sterling students are "required to live on campus." Organizations such as "the Campus Activities Board, as well as Student Life, do a fantastic job of setting up wonderful and engaging events for students…from Casino Night to Bingo Night, there [always] seems to be something happening on campus."

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

Quality of life rating
First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment
Fire safety rating

Housing Options

Apartment Married
Dorms Coed
Wellness Housing

Special Needs Admissions

College Entrance Tests Required

Interview Required

Special Need Services Offered

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
Number of Religious Organizations


Athletic Division

83% participate in intramural sports
21% participate in intercollegiate sports

Men's Sports (Sterling College)
4 Sports

Crew Rowing
Cross Country
Shooting Sports
Skiing Nordic Cross Country
Women's Sports (Sterling College)
4 Sports

Crew Rowing
Cross Country
Shooting Sports
Skiing Nordic Cross Country

Student Services

Womens Center
LGBT Support Groups: Support available through student services.

Minority Support Groups: Diversity Committee meets regularly.


Green Rating

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources:

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education:

Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network

Email and Web Access Available

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms

Average Number of PC's per Lab

Network Access in Dorm Rooms

Network Access in Dorm Lounges

Fee for Network Use

Student Web Pages Permitted

Student Web Pages Provided

Partnerships with Technology Companies

Online Class Registration Available

Personal computer included in tuition for each student

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers

Undergraduates that Own Computers

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors


Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations

Campus Visits Contact

Tim Patterson
Director of Admission

PO Box 72
Craftsbury Common, VT 05827

802-586-7711 x 124


Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Houston House Gardens
Sterling College Farm
Dunbar Dining Hall
Edible Forest Garden
Brown Library
Student Lounge, Recreation Room, Lean-tos, XC ski trails, nature trails, Computer labs, common areas in dorms, front porch

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Craftsbury Outdoor Center
Craftsbury Common
Hardwick, Vermont
Jay Peak Resort
Burlington, Vermont

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday through Friday
802-586-7711 x 124

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Varies
Average Length: 2 hours

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions

Throughout the year

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
2 weeks

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays

Contact Admissions Office


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
By Air: Regularly scheduled air service from many U.S. and Canadian cities arrives into Burlington International Airport, where you can rent a car. Pickup can sometimes be arranged with plenty of advanced notice. By Rail: Amtrak stops in Montpelier, Vermont where you can call us ahead for pickup or rent a car.

Driving Instructions to Campus
From the North, South, and East - take I-91 to Exit 21, go west on Route 2 until you take a right fork at west Danville on Route 15. Follow 15 to Hardwick, take Route 14 north 1 mile west of Hardwick. Go 7 miles on Route 14, turn right onto South Craftsbury Road and follow the signs to Craftsbury Common/Sterling College. From the West and Burlington - take I-89 south until you reach Route 100 at the Stowe-Waterbury exit. Make a left onto 100 north to Morrisville and take Route 15 east to Hardwick. Take 14 north for 7 miles, then turn right onto South Craftsbury Road and follow the signs to Craftsbury Common/Sterling College.

Local Accommodations
Bricabode Guest House Craftsbury Common (walking distance) 802-586-2532 Chandler House Craftsbury Common (walking distance) 415-652-7184 Three Bee’s Guest House 1000 King Farm Road Craftsbury Common (1 mile away) 802-586-2228 Facebook: Three Bee’s Guest House Loonsong House 345 Mill Village Rd., 1 mile north of Sterling College and Craftsbury Common, 1 mile south of Craftsbury Sports Center. Maximum 6 people 802-586-2887; $175 per night, plus 9% tax, 2 night minimum. $950 per week. Northeast Kingdom Family Getaway Craftsbury Common (1 mile away) Sleeps 8; $275-$325 per night Mill Village Road B&B Craftsbury–Mill Village (2 miles away) $95 for one; $125 for 2; includes full breakfast 802-586-6937 Email – Guest Cottage and Rooms Kathy Stark 2102 S. Albany Rd 802-586-8078 please call for pricing Craftsbury Outdoor Center Craftsbury Common (3 miles away) 802-586-2514 10% discount available for those visiting Sterling College Phoebe’s Cottage East Craftsbury (4 miles away) 802-586-2863
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Key Stats

Acceptance Rate

Rankings & Lists