Financial Aid/Scholarships/Tuition Reduction

Herbal medicine education and services have become increasingly inaccessible. We have sought to disrupt this pattern since our founding through our full-time, sliding-scale clinic and apothecary services. For the past 13 years, students’ tuition has made these services possible. After making strategic changes (e.g. relocation and planning the expansion of our garden-to-apothecary infrastructure), we are now overjoyed to be able to expand these efforts by also offering some financial support to students in the form of tuition reduction.

If you’d like to contribute to our dedicated fund to support students requesting reductions, you can do so here (be sure to note the purpose of your payment). Donations are tax-deductible.

BIPOC Reparations

VCIH offers reparation in the form of tuition reduction for up to 50% of the cost of yearly tuition for BIPOC (Black Indigenous and People of Color) students. 

These are not need-based reductions. They’re offered in the spirit of solidarity, in recognition of systemic inequity that creates unequal access to financial, educational, and social resources. We also recognize the many generations of Black and Brown herbalists whose knowledge has been appropriated and whose contribution to the development and practice of “Western” herbalism has been made invisible.

Our core faculty are currently all White/of European descent and we recognize that BIPOC-identified folks may prefer to study with teachers who are BIPOC-identified. Here is a sampling of BIPOC herbalists who offer excellent training programs for students at various levels of experience:

Amanda David, People’s Medicine School

Atava Garcia Swiecicki, Ancestral Apothecary School of Herbal, Folk and Indigenous Medicine

Karen Rose, Sacred Vibes

Karyn Sanders and Sarah Holmes, Blue Otter School

Mandana Vasseghi-Boushee and Lauren Giambrone, Wild Gather: Hudson Valley School of Herbal Studies

Olatokunboh Obasi, Well of Indigenous Wisdom School

Sobande Greer, Natural Choices Botanica School of Herbalism and Holistic Health

Stephanie Morningstar and Shabina Lafleur-Gangji, Seed, Soil + Spirit School

We welcome students who have completed other foundational training programs to apply for advanced placement into our two year clinical program. See our training programs overview page for more information.

Need-based Tuition Reduction 

We also offer need-based tuition reduction for up to 25% of the cost of yearly tuition. Any student who has financial need that would otherwise prevent them from attending VCIH is welcome to apply. 

In deciding whether to apply for this reduction, we ask that you self-select thoughtfully. We find this article and the accompanying graphic, created by Alexis J. Cunningfolk, to be a helpful resource when asking folks to consider their relative level of need. In general, if you find yourself most resonant with the “full bottle” financial experience, need-based tuition reduction is most likely not intended for you.

If you have other resources available to help finance your studies (including family support, savings, loans or employment), please utilize and/or account for those resources before applying for this tuition reduction, as we have limited funds available to cover a large student body.

A significant need-based resource available to Vermont residents is offered by Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC), which awards state-level no-repayment grants for participation in programs that improve employability (referred to as their Non-Degree Grant). VSAC’s funding cycle starts each year in July and prospective students are encouraged to apply as early as possible, as these funds do run out. Even if you are not certain you will attend VCIH, you should apply to VSAC to reserve your grant funding. There is no penalty or other adverse impact on your relationship with VSAC if you are not accepted to our programs or decide not to attend VCIH.

Prior to applying for need-based tuition reduction, eligible Vermont residents are required to apply for aid from VSAC.

Need-based tuition reduction can be combined with BIPOC reparations for a possible 75% reduction.

General information: 

While we’d like to be able to offer unlimited support to all BIPOC students and to all students in financial need, our reduced-tuition enrollment is limited based on our total program enrollment each year. We will carefully consider each application and make decisions based on available funds, individual need and the number of tuition-reduction requests each year. 

Acceptance into our programs will not be affected by application for tuition reduction.

Tuition reduction is available for all of our training programs (Roots, Family, or Clinical).

Students are eligible to receive tuition reduction more than once. As relevant, students are invited to re-apply for tuition reduction at the same time as they apply to progress through our programs (e.g. from the Family to Clinical program).

Our students are not eligible for federal financial aid and cannot apply their AMERICORPS education award to our programs, however students who have lived in Vermont for at least one year and have financial need are eligible for non-degree grants from VSAC (see above).

Limited work study positions are offered to returning students, as they become available. Work study is not available to new students.

How To Apply:

Include a short statement along with your application for admission which addresses the following:

  BIPOC reparations (10 to 50%) _____ 

Need-based support (10 to 25%) _____

                            Total (10 to 75%) _____