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Online Colleges in Rhode Island

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On this page, we’ve collected resources that will help you research the online higher education opportunities in Rhode Island. We begin by providing fact-driven surveys on postsecondary and online education in Rhode Island today, which will give you a good idea of things like funding and enrollment trends.

Following these surveys are our rankings of the top online colleges in Rhode Island, complete with detailed information about each school’s enrollment trends and academic programs. You can also find state-specific scholarship information ― keep in mind that most funding opportunities are open to both online and on-campus students. Following rankings and aid info is our list of resources, which consists of trusted sites designed to help you with your higher education research. Finally, you can explore our database of virtually all online colleges across the country.


Postsecondary Education in Rhode Island

The Center on Budget and Policies Priorities reported that in the 2013-14 school year there was a 6.8% increase ($350, inflation adjusted) in state spending per student.

CollegeBoard.org reports that in current dollars, average tuition at public 4-year schools sits at $10,934, while private nonprofit 4-year tuition sits at $36,308.

In 2010, approximately 34.1% of students at 4-year public colleges in Rhode Island graduated in 4 years; at private colleges, that number was 63.8%.


Online Education in Rhode Island

NCES Report

According to a recent NCES report, in fall 2012, 1.6% of students enrolled in Title IV institutions in Rhode Island (1,347 students) were in exclusively online programs.

  • 75.5% of those students were undergraduates
  • 18.3% were in public 4-year institutions
  • 56.3% were in private not-for-profit 4-year institutions
  • 58.9% were living in Rhode Island
  • 38.3% were living elsewhere in the United States

In the fall of 2012, 1,347 undergraduate and graduate students enrolling in Title IV schools did so exclusively as distance learning students.


Best Online Colleges in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is one of six partner states in the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE). Through this network, students enrolled in public schools in member states can take advantage of non-resident tuition breaks, shared programming and a simplified transfer process. These benefits extend to both online and traditional students.

Below you’ll find our latest rankings for the top online schools in Rhode Island. As part of our list, we’ve provided a detailed profile of each school under consideration. These profiles identify each fully-online undergraduate and graduate degree program available, while explaining each school’s unique web interface. Additionally, we’ve highlighted any awards and recognition these schools have received for the strength and quality of distance-learning initiatives.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Methodology

To determine the best online colleges in each state, we examined the factors most important to prospective students: Academic quality and reputation, online program strength, and cost and student aid. At the most basic level, we use the following formula to determine the best online colleges: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. Of course, there's more to these calculations than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about the process we use to rank schools.

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Johnson & Wales University

1
Johnson & Wales University
Providence
$27,456

An Online Education at Johnson & Wales University

The School of Online and Continuing Education at JWU offers prospective students an abundance of bachelor's and master's degree options that can be completed entirely online. Students access online courses through the ulearn system, a platform that supports shared academic files, discussion boards and streaming multimedia content. Distance learners have access to a tech support help desk seven days a week by calling 1-866-598-4357.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts & Food Service Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management

Graduate applicants do not need to submit GRE, MAT or GMAT scores to be considered for admission. Supplementary materials include two recommendation letters, a 500-word personal statement and copies of official transcripts.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Business Administration – Hospitality Concentration
  • Master of Science in Nonprofit Management
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Finance
  • Master of Science in Human Resource Management

Online learners can also rely on several support services to help them throughout their academic journey. Remote assistance includes digital library resources, course enrollment assistance and an online academic advisor hotline at 401-598-4400.

Contact Information

8 Abbott Park Pl
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 598-1000

New England Institute of Technology

2
New England Institute of Technology
East Greenwich
$21,285

An Online Education at New England Institute of Technology

The New England Institute of Technology offers an array of distance education courses focused on technical and trade skills. NEIT use a combination of Canvas, Google Applications and in-house learning software to provide students with access to live and recorded video lectures, assignments and exams. Students are able to communicate with professors and classmates through bulletin board programs and are provided with 24/7 technical support, ensuring optimal access to educational materials at your convenience.

NEIT's applications are considered and accepted on a rolling deadline basis, and distance education applicants admissions are based on the same requirements as on-campus students. Courses are 10 weeks long and master's degrees are obtainable in as little as 18 months. Along with the programs listed below, which can be completed fully online, NEIT offers a hybrid Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • RN to BSN

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master's in Information Technology
  • Master of Science in Construction Management

Contact Information

One New England Tech Boulevard
East Greenwich, RI 02818-1205
(401) 739-5000


Acclaim for online programs

  • #140on U.S. News & World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs

University of Rhode Island

3
University of Rhode Island
Kingston
$12,450
$28,016

An Online Education at University of Rhode Island

The University of Rhode Island offers a handful of undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as supplemental certificates for students with or without degrees. URI uses the Sakai interface to provide access to coursework, videos, lectures and relevant educational materials. URI's fully online degrees are relatively new, and are generally focused on technical subjects, though the university is planning on offering additional programs in the future. Course length and application requirements at the University of Rhode Island are the same for online and campus-based students. URI offers distance learners technical support through phone and email communications.

As with other online programs, the University of Rhode Island only accepts students from certain states due to federal authorization requirements. Click here to see if your state is on the list.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • RN to BSN

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master's of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Master's of Science in Dietetics

Contact Information

Green Hall, 35 Campus Avenue
Kingston, RI 02881
(401) 874-1000

Roger Williams University

4
Roger Williams University
Bristol
$31,668

An Online Education at Roger Williams University

Roger William University is the home to several fully online bachelor's degree programs, with the School of Continuing Studies being front and center. RWU also offers several certificate programs completely online that span healthcare and business fields.

Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be considered for admission. Qualifying students can earn college credits for previous professional and personal experiences, such as military training or passing College Level Exam Preparation (CLEP) tests.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Community Development
  • Criminal Justice
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Industrial Technology
  • Public Administration
  • Social and Health Services
  • Social Science
  • Technology Leadership and Management

The Bridges online course environment at RWU is powered by the open source Sakai platform, which allows students to access shared course materials, create their own portfolios, take quizzes and chat with their peers through message boards. Online learners will also use Google Apps for Education to create documents, share files and access email. Prospective students can test drive the Bridges system by taking a sample course online.

Contact Information

One Old Ferry Road
Bristol, RI 02809-2921
(401) 253-1040


Most Affordable Online Colleges in Rhode Island

Below you’ll find another list of the top online colleges in Rhode Island, sorted by their tuition rate.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Methodology

Our list of the most affordable online colleges is based on in-state yearly tuition, or annual tuition rates if a school does not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition rates are based on a full course load each semester or term. All colleges on the list offer at least one bachelor's degree completion program available entirely online. Those institutions with the lowest tuition are ranked highest, providing prospective students with a true list of the most affordable online colleges in their state.

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Johnson & Wales University

1
Johnson & Wales University
Providence
$27,456

Roger Williams University

2
Roger Williams University
Bristol
$31,668


Scholarships and Financial Aid in Rhode Island

Academic Promise Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $2,500 See Scholarship

This scholarship is provided by the Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority. To be eligible, applicant must be a graduating high school senior; have competitive ACT/SAT scores; be a resident of Rhode Island; and demonstrate financial need. The maximum award is $2,500 per year for 4 years.

Alumni Children Academic Award

Deadline: open
Scholarship Amount $4,000 See Scholarship

Rhode Island College administers the RIC Alumni Children Academic Award, which is open to children or grandchildren of RIC alumni. Awards are given annually to the three applicants with the highest GPAs. The award is $4,000.

Alumni Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $2,000 See Scholarship

Rhode Island College provides the Alumni Scholarship for students who are currently enrolled as freshmen, sophomores, or juniors. To be eligible, students must have a GPA of 2.75+. Selection is based on GPA and application essay. Maximum award is $2,000.

Antonio Cirino Memorial Art Education Fellowship

Deadline: May 1, 2015
Scholarship Amount $10,000 See Scholarship

This scholarship is provided by the Rhode Island Foundation to support Rhode Island residents who are pursuing a teaching career in the arts. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in an arts-related master’s or doctoral program, and must demonstrate financial need. The maximum award is $12,000 per year; recipients may renew the award annually.

Constant Memorial Scholarship For Aquidneck Island Residents

Deadline: April 24, 2015
Scholarship Amount $5,000 See Scholarship

Administered by the Rhode Island Foundation, this scholarship is open to residents of Aquidneck Island who are sophomores, juniors or seniors at a four-year institution. To be eligible, students must be majoring in art or music. The award amount varies from $2,000 to $5,000.

Dominic Gencarelli Family Trust Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Amount varies See Scholarship

Administered by the Rhode Island Foundation, the Dominic Gencarelli scholarship is open to students who graduated from Westerly High School and are now pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree at Providence College. Award amount varies.

Michael P. Metcalf Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $5,000 See Scholarship

The Rhode Island Foundation administers this scholarship for Rhode Island residents. The maximum award is $5,000. It may be used to subsidize experiences including travel in the U.S. and abroad, public service programs, and internships. Selection is based on creativity, thoughtfulness, and motivation of the applicants; financial need is also considered.

New England Regional Student Program (RSP)

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Amount varies See Scholarship

This program provides a tuition break for New England students who are enrolled at out-of-state New England colleges or universities. To be eligible, student must be enrolled in a major that is not offered in their home state. The award amount varies; on average, a full-time RSP student will receive $7,200.

RDW Group, Inc. Minority Scholarship For Communications

Deadline: April 24, 2015
Scholarship Amount $2,000 See Scholarship

The Rhode Island Foundation provides this scholarship for Rhode Island minority students who are pursuing a degree in communications. The scholarship is open to undergraduates and graduate students. Average award is $2,000; recipients may re-apply annually.

Rhode Island Association of Former Legislators Scholarship

Deadline: May 1, 2015
Scholarship Amount $1,500 See Scholarship

Administered by the Rhode Island Foundation, this scholarship is open to Rhode Island high school seniors who have a record of outstanding public service. The award is $1,500.


Higher Education Resources in Rhode Island