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Vermilion Community College

Vermilion Hall is one of three different apartment-style housing options on campus.
Vermilion is unique. We are a one-of-a-kind residential college located on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Ely, Minnesota. Our program niche includes a variety of natural resource and outdoor based career and transfer degrees. We also offer strong liberal arts and sciences, business based programming, and preprofessional programs for students looking to study in a beautiful wilderness setting.

School Highlights

It doesn’t get any better than this. The outdoor enthusiast will appreciate the many programs and activities that can be offered only on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

  • Vermilion specializes in environmental programs for students interested in outdoor careers such as forestry, fisheries, wildlife, wilderness management, outdoor leadership and land surveying.
  • Men’s football, basketball, baseball; women’s volleyball, basketball, softball.
  • On-campus apartment-style housing; a full meal plan is available.
  • Academic and social clubs, including wildlife, wilderness, wingshooters and outdoor pursuits.

Student Enrollment and Demographics

  • Total number of students served: 802
  • Full-time students: 60%
  • Part-time students: 39%
  • Percent female: 40%
  • Percent male: 59%
  • Percent students of color: 14%

Largest Programs

Vermilion offers a wide variety of programs. Some of our highest enrolled programs include: Natural Resource Technology - Forestry/Wildlife, Wildlife/Wildland Law Enforcement, and Liberal Arts and Sciences. In general, students often refer to Vermilion as a destination college, coming to pursue interests in Natural Resources, Animal Sciences, Outdoor Recreation, and Protection Careers. Vermilion introduced Veterinary Technology beginning in the Fall of 2017.

Unique Programs

Vermilion offers many one-of-a-kind programs focused on Natural Sciences. Students can gain a degree, become certified, or train in several unique fields such as: Seasonal Park Law Enforcement Ranger Training (one of only 7 programs nation wide), North American Wildlife Technician Association Accreditation (only of only two in the United States), Entrepreneurship, Watershed Science, Leave No Trace Trainer Certification, USGS mock interviews, along with many additional certifications


• On Campus
Vermilion offers a full residential life program with nearly 300 beds on campus. We have three apartment units; Vermilion Hall, Vermilion Apartments, and the brand new Timber Ridge Town homes (opening Fall 2017). All housing is apartment style and offers bathrooms, kitchens, living areas, and storage for students coming to campus.


• Bus • Other
Ely offers two Taxi services for students needing to both get around town as well as for longer out of town trips. There is also an AEOA bus service which has a smaller set schedule and is available through appointment.


• Off Street
Vermilion offers plenty of close on-campus parking. Each residence area has it's own parking lot, with a large main lot for both additional parking for residence as well as for everyone coming to the college. We also offer a close overflow lot for additional parking options.


Admission requirements

Vermilion Community College has an open admissions policy. This means:

  • You can enroll if you have a high school diploma or a GED. Even without those, you may be admitted if you demonstrate potential for success in college.
  • You don’t have to take a standardized test to be admitted, and your high school grades and class rank are not considered.
  • After you are admitted, you will take a placement test. That will tell you if you need to take remedial or developmental courses, which will not count toward a degree, before you can take college-level courses. Many students need just one developmental course, often in math or English. If you have taken these subjects every year in high school, you are more likely to do well on the placement test.

You can complete your studies in less time and for less total cost if you come well prepared for college-level work, especially by taking math, English, science and social studies classes every year in high school. Also, some programs of study require more math and science, so your high school preparation makes a difference.

Apply early in 12th grade. That increases your chances of being admitted to the specific program you want when you enter college. Some programs are more popular than others and fill early.

Apply online

Using the e-application, you may apply to Vermilion Community College and other schools in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.


Opportunity, choice, excellence
You’ll find lots of program choices and the top-quality education you want at an affordable cost. Personal attention from faculty and staff, real-world experiences and outstanding student support services all focus on helping you succeed. Be inspired and challenged as you prepare for your future career.

Vermilion Community College does not currently have academic programs offered fully online.

The following degrees are available from Vermilion Community College

  • Associate of Applied Science
  • Associate of Arts
  • Associate of Science
  • Certificate
  • Diploma

Program minors

Along with a large variety of programs, Vermilion offers Certificates in: Entrepreneurship, Backcountry Guide, Emergency Medical Services, Wilderness Emergency Medical Services, Seasonal Park Law Enforcement Ranger Training, Outdoor Leadership, Land Surveying, and Wildlife Ecology. These additional certifications often times assist and bolster other degree offerings.

Pre-professional programs

Vermilion is founded in Liberal Arts and Sciences giving students a wide variety of courses and options. Academic Advisors can assist in course selections for students who are interested in tailoring their liberal arts education for a specific professional career or major by transferring to another higher education institution.

Program emphases

Vermilion offers a variety of programs founded in Liberal Arts with a strong focus on Natural Resources, Animal Sciences, Outdoor Recreation, and Protection Careers. Students will find a combination of programs that ultimately help them find careers or transfer on to several colleges.

Tuition & finance

Tuition and Fees $5,324.00
FAFSA Code:002350

How to apply for financial aid
Your key to receiving financial aid to help pay your college costs is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA form. Many students don’t realize they could qualify for grant money and federally guaranteed loans, so be sure to find out by filling out the form.

Complete the FAFSA after Jan. 1 of your senior year. Find the form online at or pick up the form at your school counselor’s office. For help with completing the form, go to your high school counselor or the financial aid office at the college or university you plan to attend.

The FAFSA determines your eligibility for one or more of the following types of financial aid:

Scholarships are a great source of aid, and you do not need to pay them back. Many scholarships are available for students with special interests and backgrounds. Talk to your guidance counselor about what kind of scholarships you can get.

You may be eligible to receive federal and state grants of $300 to more than $7,000 per year. You do not need to pay these back.

Work study
Work study programs give you the opportunity to work on campus or with approved off-campus employers to earn money to pay for college. Work study jobs are often very flexible, allowing you to work around your classes and personal schedules.

Student loans
You also may be eligible for student loans, which must be paid back. Student loans usually have a lower interest rate than other kinds of loans.

Other ways to save

Reduced out-of-state tuition
Students from other states don’t always have to pay higher tuition if they want to attend the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. If you live in Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota or Manitoba, Canada, you’re eligible for tuition rates similar to those paid by Minnesota residents. And 26 of the state colleges and universities allow students from other states to pay the lower in-state rates, so ask a college or university about its tuition charges.

Tax credits
Some college students also benefit from two federal tax credit programs, the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning tax credit. These may apply to you or your family, depending on your financial circumstances.

Veterans are welcomed at the state colleges and universities. If you’ve served in the armed forces, you might be eligible for help with paying for college. Stop by one of the on-campus veterans centers for information, support and assistance. Also, check with the campus financial aid office about benefits from the new Minnesota GI Bill. Or go to

Campus Life

Student life at Vermilion is a unique experience. Being a residential campus, students have the opportunity to be part of something more than just a classroom experience. Students will find a robust student life and be a part of the "college experience". Vermilion offers six varsity athletic programs, twelve intramural athletic activiites, a wide variety of clubs, and tons of college events throughout the year. Planned activities happen nearly every day of the week and will allow student to experience both the surrounding wilderness and the college.

  • Academic Resource Center
  • Academic Resources Center
  • Admissions Office
  • Bookstore
  • Career Services
  • Computer Help Desk
  • Counseling Center
  • Disability Services
  • Financial Aid
  • Fitness Center
  • Food Service/Dining Services
  • Library
  • Star Alert
  • Student Advising
  • TRIO Student Support Services
  • TRiO, Academic Resource Center
  • Transfer Assistance
  • Vermilion Foundation
  • Veterans Services
  • Business Club
Career and professional
  • National Park Service Student Assoc
Law enforcement and safety
  • Law Enforcement Club
Nature and environment
  • Natural Resource Forestry Wildlife Club
  • Water Resources Club
Recreational and club sports
  • Bowling Nights
  • Disc Golf Club
  • Fly Fishing Club
  • Ice Fishing Club
  • Intramural Basketball
  • Intramural Coed Dodgeball
  • Intramural Coed Softball
  • Intramural Coed Volleyball
  • Intramural Flag Football
  • Outdoor Equipment Rental
  • Outdoor Pursuits Club
  • Shotgun Sports Club
Special interest
  • Sustainablility Club
Travel and leisure
  • Movie Nights
  • Men's Varsity Baseball
  • Men's Varsity Basketball
  • Men's Varsity Football
  • Women's Varsity Basketball
  • Women's Varsity Softball
  • Women's Varsity Volleyball
Vermilion Community College
Vermilion Community College
1900 E. Camp St.
Ely, MN 55731
Toll-Free: (800) 657-3608
Local: (218) 365-7200
TTY: (800) 627-3529