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Guaranteed Admission Program to UVM Offers Hope and College Prep for High School Students

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Philip Hampson always planned on taking a year off after high school to experience life before going to college. “I simply needed a break from high school and wanted to do something fun and make a little bit of money,” said Hampson. Despite not thinking about heading to college for a year, the South Burlington high school graduate still applied to the University of Vermont and was disappointed when his application was denied.

“I always wanted to go to UVM, and had been looking at the Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources, so the Guaranteed Admission Program seemed like the right fit for me,” said Hampson.

The Guaranteed Admission Program (GAP) is an alternative means of admission for students hoping to attend UVM. While the program is individually designed, all admitted GAP students are required to take a minimum of 18 credit hours in approved UVM courses and maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.0. For Hampson, acclimating into college life went pretty well and he found himself enjoying the classes a lot more than he anticipated.

“I started to feel like, okay, this is what college is like, I can do this,” he said. “The classroom environment is so different than high school; it is very interactive, much more engaging than high school was for me. I was learning a lot and being actively engaged in the classroom, so it was cool and I really started to like it.”


Laying the Foundation for College Success

That interest in college courses proved to be successful for Hampson; in his first semester as a GAP student he earned a 3.49 GPA and then applied, and got accepted to UVM for the Spring 2019 semester. He’s now majoring in Environmental Science and contemplating a double major in Fish and Wildlife Biology. And if he can fit it in, he’ll also have a minor in music.

A mandatory 1-credit course for GAP students, Foundations of Learning, helps students determine how to manage their time and lays the foundation for them to be a strong student. Hampson credits that course with helping him to figured out what worked and what didn’t work for his learning style and taught him how to focus effectively on his studies.

Advice that he wants to share with high school students who didn’t get the UVM acceptance letter that they were anticipating? “Don’t be too let down by it, there are ways to get around it, the GAP program is an option,” said Hampson. “If you want to go to UVM and didn’t get in, find a way around that obstacle. Persevere and you’ll get there.”


Learn how to apply to the Guaranteed Admission Program today.