All across the country these last few months, high school seniors have been waiting anxiously to hear whether they’ve been admitted to the colleges of their choice. For students with their dreams set on attending the University of Vermont, it may be heartbreaking if that acceptance letter didn’t pan out as hoped. But that doesn’t mean UVM is out of the question. In fact, the Guaranteed Admission Program (GAP) through UVM Continuing and Distance Education is often the second chance that high school students need.
“There will be students all over the Northeast – in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey, many of the states from which UVM draws students – who are denied admission,” said Victoria Pleshakova, a student advisor with UVM’s Guaranteed Admission Program (GAP). “A lot of them have assumed they would attend UVM. They have heard about UVM or they have friends or family going here, or they might have visited the campus and really liked it. So it’s very disappointing to them when they aren’t accepted.”
The Guaranteed Admission Program provides students with an opportunity to prove themselves and gain another chance to get into UVM. They can enroll in the full-time program and receive intensive academic advising and study skill support to set them on the right path for success at UVM.
Upon fulfilling their program requirements through GAP with UVM – maintaining a 3.0 grade-point average and abiding by student policies – students gain admittance to the university within a year.
“Most of our GAP students are 18 or 19, right out of high school,” Pleshakova said. “Another gaining group of students are veterans, and we also have students who took time off and worked before going to college. Some attended the Community College of Vermont first. We also have transfer students who pursue UVM after attending a year at another college or university.”
In any given semester, about 80 students are enrolled in GAP. They generally finish in one year.
GAP students typically enroll in courses that fulfill general education requirements. Once admitted to UVM, students decide upon a major.
“Each fall, we have classes specifically designed for GAP students. Each course will feature learning and study support component. There will be a lot more time for one-on-one with the instructor,” Pleshakova said.
Students will benefit from meeting regularly with GAP advisors, who keep a close eye on their progress. “Even though we teach them to be proactive and advocate for themselves,” she said, “we are still here to support them.”
GAP students enjoy the same benefits available to undergraduate degree students. That includes the use of Student Financial Services, Tutoring Center, and Writing Center, Mosaic Center for Students of Color, Fitness/Campus Rec Center, ACCESS Office, Student Wellness/Counseling Center, and Student Clubs and Organizations.
“We encourage our students to get involved in student life by joining UVM clubs and participating in various events and activities on campus. It is a great opportunity to meet other UVM students,” Pleshakova explained.
For high school seniors who were not offered admission to UVM, the Guaranteed Admission Program provides hope.
Former GAP student, Deniz Sehovic recommends the program as a way to achieve your academic dreams. “The GAP program was very inclusive, and other students had no idea I was part of the program,” she says. “I didn’t necessarily receive any extra academic help for being a GAP student, but I was given the same access as all other undergraduates to campus resources. It gave me an opportunity to go to UVM and experience my first year at college just like any other student.”
Applications are being accepted now for the Guaranteed Admission Program.