Best Colleges in Rhode Island

Rhode Island College Guide – What You Need to Know

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


NO FORMAL EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA ASSOCIATE DEGREE BACHELOR’S DEGREE MASTER’S DEGREE DOCTORAL DEGREE
$30,784* $38,792* $46,124* $64,896* $77,844* $96,772*

Best 2 Year Associate Degree Colleges in Rhode Island


There are numerous associate degree programs available in Rhode Island to help you acquire an entry-level position right away or move you forward in your journey toward a bachelor's degree. Degree options available include but are not limited to industrial design, paralegal, administration, and graphic design. Here you’ll find a list of excellent Rhode Island schools with associate degree programs available. Take a look to find your perfect match.

New England Institute of Technology
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,516
Graduation Rate
51%
Net Price
$31,704
Community College of Rhode Island
College Type
2-year, Public
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
14,775
Graduation Rate
20%
Net Price
$5,760

Best 4 Year Bachelor's Degree Colleges in Rhode Island


You can design your own career future by completing a bachelor's degree program in a field like Africana studies, anthropology, business and marketing, public and professional communication, biological sciences, psychology, or philosophy. These schools in your state are waiting for your application and offering a huge variety of options, even if you still aren’t sure what your passion is. Choose a quality college to attend, and whatever you decide to do with your life, you’ll be well on your way when you graduate with a well-respected degree.

Brown University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
10,333
Graduation Rate
96%
Net Price
$27,218
Rhode Island School of Design
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,501
Graduation Rate
89%
Net Price
$39,791
Providence College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,618
Graduation Rate
87%
Net Price
$35,796
Bryant University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,640
Graduation Rate
81%
Net Price
$40,038
Salve Regina University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,771
Graduation Rate
78%
Net Price
$36,646
University of Rhode Island
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
17,465
Graduation Rate
69%
Net Price
$19,652
Roger Williams University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
4,838
Graduation Rate
67%
Net Price
$37,611
Johnson & Wales University-Providence
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
6,695
Graduation Rate
65%
Net Price
$27,922
New England Institute of Technology
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,516
Graduation Rate
51%
Net Price
$31,704
Rhode Island College
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
7,523
Graduation Rate
49%
Net Price
$9,572
College Unbound
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
163
Graduation Rate
NA
Net Price
NA
Johnson & Wales University-Online
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
1,752
Graduation Rate
NA
Net Price
$18,499

Best Advanced and Master's Degree Colleges in Rhode Island


Top-level career positions can be difficult to attain without an advanced degree. At a top-quality university, you can earn your master's or doctorate in a field like forensic and legal psychology, information technology, or homeland security-leadership and policy. Rhode Island colleges providing programs like these may be difficult to sort through in order to make a decision. Here we’ve collected some of the best schools in the state offering master’s and doctorate degrees. Take a look and find a school that fits your needs.

Brown University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
3,173
Graduation Rate
96%
Net Price
$27,218
Rhode Island School of Design
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
492
Graduation Rate
89%
Net Price
$39,791
Providence College
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
522
Graduation Rate
87%
Net Price
$35,796
Bryant University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
381
Graduation Rate
81%
Net Price
$40,038
Salve Regina University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
604
Graduation Rate
78%
Net Price
$36,646
University of Rhode Island
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
2,917
Graduation Rate
69%
Net Price
$19,652
Roger Williams University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
315
Graduation Rate
67%
Net Price
$37,611
Johnson & Wales University-Providence
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
572
Graduation Rate
65%
Net Price
$27,922
New England Institute of Technology
College Type
4-year, Primarily associate's, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
190
Graduation Rate
51%
Net Price
$31,704
Rhode Island College
College Type
4-year, Public
Campus Housing
Yes
Student Population
1,091
Graduation Rate
49%
Net Price
$9,572
Johnson & Wales University-Online
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
682
Graduation Rate
NA
Net Price
$18,499
Roger Williams University School of Law
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Campus Housing
No
Student Population
487
Graduation Rate
NA
Net Price
NA
Learn about MBA's in Rhode Island

Best Online Degree Colleges in Rhode Island (Distance Learning Only)


Online courses are an affordable and convenient option for degree seekers, which are becoming more and more common and improving all the time. Multiple Rhode Island schools have entirely virtual degree programs like dietetics, teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), cyber security, digital forensics, communication, and healthcare management. Among the variety of schools offering online-only programs are the following excellent options.

Johnson & Wales University-Online
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
1,752
Graduation Rate
NA
Net Price
$18,499
Colorado Technical University
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Student Population
27,232
Graduation Rate
26%
Net Price
$16,260
Purdue
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
38,138
Graduation Rate
27%
Net Price
NA
Southern New Hampshire University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
113,514
Graduation Rate
44%
Net Price
$39,743
Western Governors University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
136,139
Graduation Rate
21%
Net Price
$7,785
Capella University
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Student Population
37,859
Graduation Rate
NA
Net Price
$17,368
Walden University
College Type
4-year, Private for-profit
Student Population
48,420
Graduation Rate
33%
Net Price
NA

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.

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
  • ASEC
  • CRWS
  • PMAFGS
  • DELBS
NFB_logo

NFB

National Federation of the Blind – Scholarship Program

https://nfb.org/programs/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.

HSF_logo

HSF

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

https://www.hsf.net/en_US/scholarship
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.

JBF_logo

JBF

James Beard Foundation

https://www.jamesbeard.org/scholarships
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.

ASEC

Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

https://www.aynrand.org/students/essay-contests#atlasshrugged-1
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."

CRWS

Carter Roger Williams Scholarship

http://www.findingrogerwilliams.com/scholarships/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.

PMAFGS_logo

PMAFGS

Patty & Melvin Alperin First Generation Scholarship

https://rifoundation.org/grants-scholarships/browse-scholarships
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.

DELBS_logo

DELBS

Direct Energy Live Brighter Scholarship

https://www.directenergy.com/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.