Each year a select group of students is admitted to Sterling College for the spring semester.

It takes some grit to start out at Sterling in January during the depths of a Vermont winter, but the warmth of the community here helps students make a successful transition. And a good set of long underwear doesn’t hurt.

1. Many Students Transfer to Sterling

About half of all Sterling College students transfer here, and for many transfer students the spring semester is a logical time to start. Some transfer students arrive with just a few credits, and some arrive in their senior year of college. We work to make transferring a smooth process via a liberal transfer credit acceptance policy and generous financial aid packages that include both need-based grants and merit scholarships. Learn more about transfer application requirements

2. Class Years Don’t Mean Much Here

Want to stump a Sterling student? Ask them about their class year. For a variety of reasons, class years don’t mean much here. Many students arrive with transfer credits, students can earn additional credits over the summer, and the Sterling culture emphasizes inclusion – the total student body numbers only 130 students, so there is not much division between class years.

3. Winter is a Beautiful Season in Vermont


4. And the Best Way to Survive Winter is to Embrace it! 

Sterling College is located smack dab in the middle of a winter sports wonderland. Some of the best Nordic Skiing in the U.S. is right here in Craftsbury at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center – beautifully groomed ski trails run right through campus, and every Sterling student gets a free trail pass.

Vermont’s renowned downhill ski areas of Jay Peak, Burke Mountain, Stowe Mountain Resort, and Smugglers’ Notch are all within an hour’s drive. Snow shoeing and walking are pretty nice everywhere!


5. Cold Air, Warm Hearts

guyana When Tofowa Pyle arrived at Sterling last January as a transfer student from his native country of Guyana, it was his first experience with snow and ice and cold. After a few weeks, Tofowa reflected on the cozy side of winter in Vermont:

“I learned that although the air is cold, the hearts of people are warm.”

6. Paddle Making is a Spring Semester Tradition


All new spring students make a paddle in the wood shop, located in Paradise Hall, and then use their paddle for canoeing during the spring runoff. What a cool tradition! 

7. Save Time and Money

Starting in the spring semester rather than waiting until the summer or fall will get you to graduation that much faster – especially if you take summer classes as well. For students who are eager to earn their Bachelor’s degree, starting in the spring will save time AND money. 

8. Witness the Spring Migration


The spring migration of birds begins in March and continues through Commencement in May. Each year students and faculty keep a migration chart up by the Dunbar Dining Hall, and add returning species to the list as they return – a joyful tradition that marks the progression of spring.

9. Help Out with Lambing Season

lamb-v2Because there is nothing cuter than a newborn lamb…unless it’s a baby goat!

10. Free Up Your Fall Semester (and Take Summer Classes Too!)

If you take care of graduation requirements and core classes like A Sense of Place in the spring, you will be eligible to take elective courses in the summer and fall, including global field studies.

We’re ready when you are.

If you’re ready to embark on an education in environmental stewardship, why wait?


We will work with you on an individual basis to welcome you into the Sterling College community and chart a path to graduation.

Spring semester applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Limited space is available. First-year and transfer students are eligible to apply.

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