On this page, we’ve collected resources that will help you approach 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 online colleges in Rhode Island, sorted by affordability. You can find state-specific scholarship information, as well ― 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
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.
Below you’ll find the very best online colleges in Rhode Island, sorted by affordability. These rankings identify the fully online programs in a school’s catalogue, explain how the school’s online interface works and spotlight the recognition a school has received for its online initiatives.
Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.
Roger Williams University1
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.
One Old Ferry Road
Bristol, RI 02809-2921
Johnson & Wales University2
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.
8 Abbott Park Pl
Providence, RI 02903
Explore accredited online colleges with our comprehensive database of online programs. Sort the results based on criteria like degree level, location, and program preference to find the schools that best meet your needs.
|Community College of Rhode Island||Certificate, Associates Degree||Rhode Island|
|Johnson & Wales University-Providence||Doctoral Degree, Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree, Certificate, Post-Masters Certificate, Associates Degree||Rhode Island|
|New England Institute of Technology||Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree, Associates Degree||Rhode Island|
|Providence College||Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree, Certificate, Associates Degree||Rhode Island|
|Rhode Island College||Doctoral Degree, Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree, Certificate, Post-Masters Certificate, Post-Bachelors Certificate||Rhode Island|
|Roger Williams University||Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree, Certificate, Associates Degree, Post-Bachelors Certificate||Rhode Island|
|Salve Regina University||Doctoral Degree, Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree, Post-Masters Certificate, Associates Degree, Post-Bachelors Certificate||Rhode Island|
|University of Rhode Island||Doctoral Degree, Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree, Post-Bachelors Certificate||Rhode Island|
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Rhode Island
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.