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Online Colleges in Rhode Island

Most Affordable Online Colleges

According to 2012 data from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT), some of the state industries expected to experience fast growth rates between 2010 and 2020 include health care and social assistance, educational services, and professional, scientific and technical services -- fields with careers that often call for a college education. Advancing technology and increasingly complex jobs will provide better opportunities for those who are highly educated and trained, the DLT reports.

A number of colleges and universities offer online degrees in Rhode Island, including:

  • Brown University features several pre-college online courses for high-school students, as well as a hybrid executive MBA program in partnership with IE Business School. Students study online and physically meet five times during the 15-month program in Africa, Spain and on-campus in Providence.
  • The New England Institute of Technology offers an online degree program for registered nurses seeking a Bachelor's degree in Nursing.
  • Johnson and Wales University offers students with associate degrees in Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry Arts two online Bachelor's degree options: one in Food Service Management and Culinary Arts, and the other in Food Service Management and Baking and Pastry Arts.
  • Salve Regina University lets students pursue several graduate programs completely online in areas like international relations and business administration. Hybrid courses are also available for those who wish to learn on campus as well as online.

There are just over a million people living in Rhode Island, and among those between 18 and 24 years old, 11.5 percent have a bachelor's degree, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2012. Just over 50 percent have some college or an associate degree. Among those over 25, 12 percent have a graduate degree or higher, 18 percent have a bachelor's degree, and 8 percent have an associate degree. About one in five have attended college without earning a degree.

There are 456,100 workers in Rhode Island, and they earn an average of $23.47 an hour for an average annual wage of $48,820, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates from 2013. Those workers who are looking to earn a college degree in the hopes of increasing their income with a better-paying job can apply to 11 different colleges or universities in the state.

Affordable Online Colleges in Rhode Island

The following list names 7 schools in Rhode Island that offer online degrees at the lowest tuition costs for the state. Tuition figures are sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics and reflect in-state tuition (when in-state tuition is available) for all students, including online students.

1

University of Rhode Island

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$11,128
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
31.98%
Institution Type
Public

About

In addition to a wide variety of online courses, the University of Rhode Island also offers two online certificate programs. The professional certificate in Digital Forensics is for working professionals who don't have a four-year undergraduate degree, and the graduate certificate in Digital Forensics is for college graduates not interested in a master's degree.

School Website: 
GO
2

Johnson & Wales University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$19,008
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
Institution Type
Private

About

Johnson and Wales University caters to students who have earned an associate degree in the culinary field and want to pursue their academic training. Their two online bachelor's degree programs are in Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management.

School Website: 
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3

New England Institute of Technology

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$21,375
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
Institution Type
Private

About

New England Institute of Technology offers associate, bachelor's and master's degrees in more than 40 programs, and many of the courses it offers are online. Its Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science degree program is completely online, and provides a practical and affordable way of helping registered nurses advance their careers.

School Website: 
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4

Roger Williams University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$29,976
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
11.12%
Institution Type
Private

About

Roger Williams' online bachelor's degree programs are in Community Development; Criminal Justice; Healthcare Administration; Industrial Technology; Public Administration; Social and Health Services; Social Science; and Technology Leadership and Management.

School Website: 
5

Salve Regina University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$36,190
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
10.26%
Institution Type
Private

About

Salve Regina University offers some of the best-priced, fully online degree programs in Rhode Island. Their online master's degree programs include Business Administration; Humanities; International Relations; and Management. The school's Healthcare Administration and Rehabilitation Counseling programs are almost completely online, as well.

School Website: 
GO
6

Brown University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$48,272
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
Institution Type
Private

About

Although the prestigious Brown University doesn't yet offer fully online degree programs, it does offer free, noncredit courses open to students around the world. Brown sees these free, open courses as a way to fulfill its mission to "serve the community, the nation and the world" in a spirit of free inquiry. The number of these courses is limited to two or three, depending on what time of year it is. Brown also offers tough, pre-college courses in which students work at an undergraduate level and receive certificates and course performance reports from their instructors. These 13 classes range from Biomedical Engineering to Storytelling in the Digital Age.

School Website: 
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College Accreditation in Rhode Island

Students planning to attend a college in Rhode Island can check to ensure it is accredited through an agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Accredited schools meet specific standards in education set by accrediting agencies.

In Rhode Island, the regional accrediting agency is the:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE)

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education oversees accreditation in six Northeast states, including Rhode Island. If a student finds a college in Rhode Island that is not accredited by this commission, they can verify with the U.S. Department of Education if it is accredited through another approved agency.

School Interviews

Diane J. Goldsmith
Online learning continues to evolve in several directions [especially] in how technological advances are allowing for the greater incorporation of adaptive learning in a wide variety of classes.

Diane J. Goldsmith, Ph.D.

Director of the Office for Advancement of Teaching and Learning

The University of Rhode Island

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at the University of Rhode Island?

For many years we have been offering online courses to student in our traditional face to face programs. Students use online courses because they like the modality, it better fits their schedule, and/or they are away from campus on internships or participating in other experiential programs. We are currently developing several online programs directed specifically at adult learners. This includes an MS in Dietetics, an RN to BS degree, an MS in Cybersecurity, and an MS in TESOL.

Q. What advice would you give students interested in an online degree program?

Online programs can and should be as intellectually rigorous and as interactive as classroom based programs. Most online classes allow you to work on your schedule, but within a framework of due dates for class participation and assignments. Our website http://web.uri.edu/learningonline/ provides resources and suggestions for best practices in learning online.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

Online learning continues to evolve in several directions. I'm most interested in how technological advances are allowing for the greater incorporation of adaptive learning in a wide variety of classes. Adaptive learning can provide alternative pathways for students to experience learning as well as provide faculty with information on what students do well and what they need help with so that they can better focus their assignments and assessments.


Traci B. Warrington
Successful online students are active learners, fully participating in the experience.

Traci B. Warrington, DBA

Dean of Professional Studies

Salve Regina University

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at Salve Regina University?

Salve Regina University offers 6 online master's degree programs in the following areas: Master of Business Administration (MBA), M.S. Innovation and Strategic Management, M.A. International Relations, M.S. Healthcare Administration and Management, M.A. Humanities, and M.S. Administration of Justice and Homeland Security.

Q. What advice would you give students interested in an online degree program?

Be sure that online education is a good fit for you. Online learners must have access to the technology needed, be comfortable with technology, and be good managers of their own time. Once enrolled in an online course, access the course as soon as it is available. Keep a calendar of due dates for assignments, and keep current with the course requirements. Contact your instructor immediately if you have questions, and participate in the online discussions with fellow online students. Successful online students are active learners, fully participating in the experience.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

Given online education's convenience and ability to reach students who may not otherwise be able to participate in higher education, I expect continued growth in this area. Quality standards and online learning management systems will become more sophisticated providing opportunities for course designers to further develop the student online experience to address the needs of different learning styles.

Featured Cities In Rhode Island

Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metro Area

Total Population

1,606,424

Median salary for high school grads

$31,858

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$52,570

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

33%

Median rent

$890

Fun Facts

Despite its compact, metropolitan profile, Providence sports more than 1,200 acres of parks. The city itself has maintained its historic districts, including the largest continuous string of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The Rhode Island School of Design Museum is the premier art museum in the area.

Warwick was founded in 1642, so there is a lot of history in this town — nautical, military and industrial history. In addition to visiting Warwick's various well-preserved historic sites, visitors also enjoy eating in its excellent seafood restaurants. The city also has three museums, 50 parks and playgrounds and nearly 40 miles of coastline.

 
Article Sources

Sources :

    1. Brown University, http://www.brown.edu/academics/online-learning
    2. Diane J. Goldsmith, interview with the author, June 2015
    3. Johnson & Wales University, http://www.jwu.edu/content.aspx?id=63532
    4. Johnson & Wales University Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson_%26_Wales_University#Notable_alumni
    5. List of Brown University people, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Brown_University_people
    6. New England Institute of Technology, http://www.neit.edu/Programs/Online-Degree-Program
    7. Providence College, http://www.providence.edu/sce/Documents/onlineandhybridcourses.pdf
    8. Providence College, Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salve_Regina_University#Notable_alumni
    9. Rhode Island Employment Trends and Workforce Issues, 2012, Rhode Island Dept. of Labor and Training, http://www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi/publications/trends.htm
    10. Roger Williams University, http://rwu.edu/academics/schools-colleges/scs/online-learning/online-programs
    11. Roger Williams University Notable Faculty Members and Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Williams_University#Notable_faculty_members_and_alumni
    12. Salve Regina University, http://www.salve.edu/graduate-studies/online-studies
    13. Salve Regina University, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salve_Regina_University#Notable_alumni
    14. Traci B. Warrington, interview with the author, June 2015
    15. U.S. Census Bureau: American Factfinder, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF
    16. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ri.htm
    17. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_77200.htm
    18. University of Rhode Island, http://www.uri.edu/online/new_course_listing_summer_2014_wp.html
    19. University of Rhode Island Notable Alumni, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Rhode_Island
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Article Sources