Best Online Colleges in Rhode Island

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Rhode Island has a population of 1.4 million people. There are 460,000 Rhode Islanders in the workforce and 20,000 are unemployed but looking for work. This gives the state an unemployment rate of 3.4%. Still, the average mean salary for a family of four is $62,000, higher than the national average. Business and management, education, and healthcare employ the most people in the state.

While this might seem like a bunch of random statistics, it can have a lot of importance for students who will be trying to enter the workforce within the next few years. Knowing which industries hire the most people, offer the most development or promotions, and can provide the best pay can definitely give you a step up once you start applying to jobs. That is, as long as you take it to heart and let it help guide your educational decisions.

However, not everyone wants to take a job because it will pay the most. It’s important to take your own needs into consideration, which is part of why rankings exist. We could tell you the one best school in your state and be done with it, but you have to decide for yourself whether a less expensive degree is worth getting a general education in the field you’re interested in rather than a focused degree, or whether an online degree is worth having fewer options if you choose to switch majors later on. With rankings, you can consider all your options with as much information as possible.


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Online Higher Education in Rhode Island


When considering going to school, all students have questions about the process. Below we have compiled some of the more important considerations that potential students might want to think about when selecting a school for their educational needs.

  • How much is college tuition in Rhode Island?

    For the 2020-2021 academic year, average tuition for in-state Rhode Island students was $10,338 and out-of-state students paid an average of $34,474 for tuition. Graduate students paid $12,956 for in-state tuition and out-of-state Rhode Island graduate students paid $25,901.

    The college with the highest undergraduate tuition is Brown University at $62,304 and the least expensive college tuition was at College Unbound, with a cost of $10,928. For graduate school, Brown was again the most expensive at $62,083 and Providence College has the lowest at $55,988.

  • How many students are enrolled at colleges and universities in Rhode Island?
    As of the 2020-2021 academic school year, there were 78,897students enrolled in Rhode Island colleges and universities. Undergraduate students were the majority, with 67,438 enrolled in two- and four-year programs and the remaining 11,459 students attending graduate school. The number of students enrolled full-time is greater than those attending part-time, 60,330 and 18,567, respectively. Rhode Island had more female students than male, with 46,000 being female and 33,000 male.
  • How many students attend online classes?
    For the 2020-21 academic year, 32,295 students attended classes exclusively online and another 28,731 took at least one online course during their education. The vast majority of online students were undergraduates.
  • What are some of the most popular degrees to get online?
    Some of the more popular programs at Rhode Island colleges and universities include Business, Education, and Healthcare.

Our School Rankings Methodology


We use a particular set of criteria when creating our rankings. Some of the factors we consider include:

  • Admission Rate:
    This rate shows how competitive a school actually is. High admission rates mean it’s easier to be accepted, while a lower rate means the school is more selective of its students. Community colleges are often easier to get into than four-year colleges but even they can have strict criteria for admission.
  • Graduation Rate:
    We check the length of time students need to complete programs and whether that timeframe is within the standard four to six years for an undergraduate degree. Most students complete their degree programs within 4-5 years but needing six or more years to finish is not out of the ordinary either, especially for part-time students.
  • Net Price:
    This is the total amount a student will have to come out of pocket to pay for their education. This amount is the balance of tuition and fees after grants, scholarships, and work study credits have been applied.
  • Online Availability:
    Whether courses and programs can be completed online either partially or completely is considered.
  • Retention Rate:
    We evaluate how many students return after their first year of classes.
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio:
    The smaller the ratio, the smaller the classes and the greater chance for instructor interaction. Some students prefer smaller classes, while other students prefer larger ones, and a higher student-to-faculty ratio can indicate which you are more likely to find.

What are the Best Online Associate & Community College Programs in Rhode Island?


Students who are interested in attending community college have different reasons for taking that particular path. For some, the idea of college might seem intimidating and community college seem less threatening or difficult than going to a four-year college or university. Or they might only be interested in attaining a two-year degree and, therefore, community college suits their needs best. For still others, community college might be more affordable, and they can cut costs on a four-year degree. These considerations are part of how we rank our community colleges, along with the availability of online courses and programs.

Here, you can get all the information you need to make the most informed, and best decision for yourself.

New England Institute of Technology
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
2,031
Graduation Rate
48%
Net Price
$33,681
Grads Salary
$45,100

What are the Best Online Universities & College Programs in Rhode Island?


The best college for students in Rhode Island will vary by student, and we keep this fact in mind when compiling our findings. For some students, the flexibility that online classes offer outweighs the number of programs; in these cases, as long as what they are interested in pursuing is available, they’re satisfied. However, a student who might not know what they want to study might be more interested in a school with many educational options. The program format is also something we consider, because not all online programs are the same. Some students might want to attend virtual classes, which are like regular classes but online, while other students might prefer to watch classes at other times during the day when it’s more convenient. These classes that can be taken anytime are called asynchronous and are becoming more common due to their popularity. This information along with accreditation status and overall opinion of the collegiate community help us rank schools in an order that best helps potential students.

University of Rhode Island
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
17,649
Graduation Rate
71%
Net Price
$15,386
Grads Salary
$71,000
Bryant University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
3,640
Graduation Rate
82%
Net Price
$39,919
Grads Salary
$75,500
Salve Regina University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
2,771
Graduation Rate
76%
Net Price
$35,620
Grads Salary
$68,000
Johnson & Wales University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
5,676
Graduation Rate
64%
Net Price
$29,560
Grads Salary
$67,000
New England Institute of Technology
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
2,031
Graduation Rate
48%
Net Price
$33,681
Grads Salary
$69,000

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