Accredited Schools & Colleges in Rhode Island

Rhode Island College Guide – What You Need to Know

Best Colleges & Universities in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States. However, it's also one of our oldest. It's not only steeped in New England tradition but also full of rich educational opportunities. You can receive an Ivy League education at Brown or earn a fantastic arts degree down the road at the Rhode Island School of Design. There are also large public universities, a top culinary institute, and classic New England liberal arts institutions as well.

Though Rhode Island has a small geographic footprint, the state leaves a huge imprint on the world of post-secondary education. You can grow up in a small Rhode Island town, attend a major university in Providence and then embark on a brilliant career without ever leaving the state. However, if you must stray from home, the rest of New England has much to offer, and your Rhode Island education opens opportunities at every turn.

What are the most popular bachelor's degrees offered in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island, like most of New England, is a place that places a high value on education. The state is home to some of the very best colleges and universities, provides a wide industrial spectrum, and is in easy reach of some of the nation's busiest economic hubs.

When you embark on a bachelor's degree offered in Rhode Island, you will find that you have your pick of the most popular degrees in the nation.

The most popular degrees in Rhode Island reflect the state's dedication to commerce, science, and the creative spirit and they are:

How Much Can You Make by Having a Degree in Rhode Island

$27,040* $37,024* $43,472* $60,996* $72,852* $90,636*

Rhode Island College Tuition Costs Vs Salary Potential

Education is a costly proposition these days. However, it is a necessary expense if you wish to get ahead in most occupations. Where workers used to rely on experience to advance, now they face a glass ceiling. Thus, it's vital to find a way to contain your educational costs while attaining the very best education possible.

One way to reduce your costs is to attend in-state, public colleges and universities. Rhode Island may be small, but there are plenty of great opportunities so that you can remain in-state for college. When you consider that even venturing to Massachusetts will result in a potential 300% tuition increase, the decision to remain in-state is rather easy.

You can also reduce your overall costs by attending community colleges for your core classes. All the required composition, math, and other elective courses that usually consume the first two years of college can be handled in a community college. If you choose this route, which will be cheaper, contact the college where you intend to finish your bachelor's degree and make sure that your credits will transfer. Your community college may also have information on this.

Tuition and other expenses can also be handled with scholarships, grants, and federal loan assistance programs. There are so many scholarships available for all sorts of students that it would be a shame to not apply for a few. You might even conduct a yearly, or quarterly, scholarship-application campaign that is sure to yield a few awards. Even if you only win $500, you can put the award on your resume.

Upon graduation, if you're like most students, you will likely have outstanding student loan debt. This can be offset by federal loan programs that will allow you to defer loan payments while you work them off in a non-profit or government agency. You will likely need to work off your debt over the course of ten years, but your experience will be just as valuable as time with a private firm.

College Cost Analysis vs Salary Potential

Average Rhode Island Tuition & Fees at 4 Year Public Schools

In-State Tuition - $11,300

National – $10,000

Out-of-State – $25,700

National – $25,600

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid

Rhode Island students are a bit above average for receiving federal grants, which should be encouraging to all who are filling out their FAFSA forms. The state also comes in slightly below average for the average monetary dispensation per student. You can always supplement your education with funds from a scholarship or private grant.

Financial Aid Rhode Island Nationally
Received Federal Grants 38% 37.7%
Average $ per Recipient $10,666 $10,927

* Institutional aid represents grant and scholarship funds directly awarded by a post-secondary institution.
* Financial aid data represents 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

Rhode Island Tuition Cost Vs Earnings

Helping You Maximize Your Education Earnings

Rhode Island Colleges Tuition & Fees In State Tuition & Fees Out Of state Books & Supplies Room & Board Campus Room & Board Off Campus Graduation Rate Undergrads Median Salary
Brown University $53,400 $53,400 $1,600 $14,000 $14,000 96% $67,500
Providence College $48,800 $48,800 $1,000 $14,200 $11,600 84% $64,100
University of Rhode Island $13,800 $30,000 $1,200 $12,500 $9,600 63% $52,900
Rhode Island School of Design $48,400 $48,400 $2,700 $13,050 $13,100 89% $51,100
Rhode Island College $8,800 $21,300 $1,200 $11,500 $12,500 46% $41,400
Johnson & Wales University $31,500 $31,500 $1,500 $13,800 $7,000 60% $38,800
Bryant University $42,100 $42,100 $1,300 $15,100 $9,000 78% $69,300
New England Institute of Technology $28,700 $28,700 $1,500 $11,600 $7,000 49% $42,800
Salve Regina University $39,000 $39,000 $1,400 $14,100 $10,800 70% $53,500
Roger Williams University $33,300 $33,300 $900 $15,600 $4,700 64% $50,500

**Salary after attending is a median salary, your degree and field can affect your median salary.

Scholarships & Grants for Rhode Island Students

Scholarships and Grants are a great way to subsidize your college costs. In fact, some may even pay for the entirety of your college costs, though those are rare indeed. In the meantime, it's a great idea to apply to as many scholarships as you can. Even if the awards barely cover a few books for a semester, you can still tout the award on your resume. Regardless, any money you save will be well worth your time. Here are a few scholarships you can apply to:

  • NFB
  • HSF
  • JBF
  • APCS
  • ASEC
  • CRWS


National Federation of the Blind – Scholarship Program
Amount: $3,000-$12,000
Deadline: March 31
The National Federation of the Blind invites blind students from all 50 states and Puerto Rico to apply for the NFB scholarship program. You might win one of 30 merit-based scholarships which are sure to carry high prestige. Finalists travel to the NFB's national convention held each July. At that meeting, the winners will be selected. Note that even being a finalist is a great honor and if you don't win you can always try again the following year.



Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Amount: $500 to $5,000
Deadline: February 15
Hispanic and Latino students at any level are invited to apply to this scholarship fund. Every student from high school seniors who are accepted to a four-year college, an undergraduate student at any phase of that process, community college students who are headed to a four-year college or university, and also graduate students all qualify for awards. If you are a high school student, you must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Graduate and undergraduate students are required to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Your major and career aspirations are not any barrier to winning a scholarship, but HSF gives special consideration to STEM students.



James Beard Foundation
Amount: $20,000 (10 Awards)
Deadline: Not Posted, sign upon website for news and updates
Rhode Island students who intend to attend Johnson and Wales, or any other culinary school, are encouraged to apply for this prestigious award. Note that your education must be licensed or accredited in order to receive an award. You should keep this foundation in mind for your later, post-college life as well. The Foundation provides grants to working chefs who desire additional, informal education.

  • Friends of James Beard: helps with tuition and even post-school expenses
  • James Beard School Scholarships: Covers tuition costs. Some scholarships are renewable.
  • Grants: If you are a working chef but wish to visit farms, fisheries, wineries, or other food producing areas or companies, you can win an award that makes this possible.

You are invited to register on the James Beard website to receive information on upcoming application deadlines and more.



Annual Pool Cleaner Scholarship
Amount: $1,500
Deadline: Varies
Even if you can't swim or have any idea of how to skim a pool, you can win this scholarship. This fund is primarily concerned with your abilities as a writer. The website has five topics to choose from, so pick one that seems most accessible to you. The judges look for originality, unique expression, overall writing skill, essay organization and structure, as well as your ability to implement logic consistently across the piece. The very exercise of writing this essay can be educational.


Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest
Amount: $100-$25,000
Deadline: Varies (check website for updated deadline)
If you have read Atlas Shrugged and are a whiz with literary analysis, this might be your chance to win a lot of money for college. The Ayn Rand Institute provides three topics. You can pick one and get to work writing and thinking. The topics require a deep engagement with the text and include other Rand works, such as her essays, "Faith and Force" and "Of Living Death."


Carter Roger Williams Scholarship
Amount: Up to $20,000 per student, renewable for up to three years
Deadline: February 12
This scholarship is for college-bound high school students who are Rhode Island residents. You must be able to prove your RI residence, college acceptance, and your financial need. You will be evaluated on the basis of your financial need, knowledge of Roger Williams' life and legacy, and your academic record. To apply, you need to submit an essay about Roger Williams. The website offers two topic options for you to choose from. It would be beneficial to read a biography of Mr. Williams and to otherwise study his life and legacy prior to putting pen to paper.



Patty & Melvin Alperin First Generation Scholarship
Amount: $1,000 - renewable
Deadline: Varies
This scholarship is for a Rhode Island student who has the distinctive honor of being the first student from their family to attend college. To qualify, you need to be a high school student who has been accepted to a two- or four-year college or university. Not only must you prove that you are a first-generation college student, but that you have significant financial need. You will need to have proof of RI residence as well as financial need. Often you can submit your FAFSA form for this purpose but refer to the specific guidelines to ensure that you submit the best application.



Direct Energy Live Brighter Scholarship
Amount: $2,500
Deadline: December 31
This scholarship is limited to residents of states served by Direct Energy, and that includes Rhode Island. You should be a college student. If you are attending school in a state not served by Direct Energy, make sure you still maintain residence in RI. This is an essay- or video-based scholarship contest and is judged on the basis of four criteria, each weighted equally:

  • Outstanding academic performance. To demonstrate your studiousness, you need to include transcripts with your application. You qualify for consideration with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • You should make your video or essay stand out with its creativity and innovation.
  • Demonstrate how you make a positive impact on your community.
  • Your essay or video should emulate the values of innovation, thoughtfulness, and inspiration. That is, be inspiring, innovative, and thoughtful in your presentation.