Sterling College

Founded in 1958 in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, Sterling College is the leading voice in higher education for environmental stewardship and rural place-based education.

The College was among the first colleges in the United States to focus on sustainability through academic majors in Ecology, Environmental Humanities, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems, and Outdoor Education. Students can also choose to design their own major, like Agroecology, Environmental Justice, Conservation Education, and International Agriculture and Business.

Fast Facts: 

  • The College’s motto is “Working Hands. Working Minds.”
  • Sterling College was one of the first liberal arts colleges in the world to focus exclusively on environmental stewardship education.
  • 80% of electricity on campus is produced through solar power.
  • For four consecutive years, Sterling has received a STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) Gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
  • #1 healthiest dining hall in the country, ranked 60% higher than the national average.
  • #11 coolest school in the country as ranked by Sierra Magazine.
  • Student-to-Faculty ratio is 6:1.
  • 21% of the student body are first generation college students.
  • All students living on campus work to help pay for books, housing and meals.
  • 79% of students come from the Northeast.
  • 61% of students are Pell Grant recipients.
  • Sterling students graduate with 50% less loan debt than the national average.
  • Tuition, room and board in 2018-19 is 20% less than other private New England colleges.

By the numbers

14,298
Total combined student work hours during the 2016-2017 academic year.
WC
A federally recognized Work College. All students work at campus jobs to help offset the cost of tuition.
80
The number of hours, on average, that each Sterling student works per semester.
88%
of Work College graduates agree that work program experience was an important way to reduce their college cost.

Sterling College was one of the first liberal arts colleges in the world to focus exclusively on environmental stewardship education. Sterling is home to the School of the New American Farmstead and the Wendell Berry Farming Program, and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

30%
of Sterling’s food is grown on campus.

Student Makeup

6:1
student to faculty ratio
34%
of the students self-design an interdisciplinary major.
20%
Tuition, room and board in 2018-19 is less than other New England private colleges.
12.6%
identify as students of color.
21%
of the student body are first generation college students (2017-2018).
96%
Of our BA alumni report that they were employed within the first year after graduation.
90%
Of our alumni report that they are meeting their career goals.

Sterling Made the Lists...

  • #2 baccalaureate college in the nation for campus sustainability – Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
  • #1 healthiest dining hall in the country, ranked 60% higher than the national average – Bon Appétit Magazine
  • Top 11 coolest school in the country, 2018 – Sierra Magazine
  • A 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) Gold rated higher education institution. – Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
  • 3rd college in US to divest from fossil fuel & 1st in Vermont.
61%
of students are Pell Grant recipients.
80%
of electricity on campus is produced through solar power.
30%
of Sterling’s food is grown on campus.
50%
Sterling Alumni complete their degree with less loan debt than the national average