Rhode Island may be a small state, but it has a huge need for degree holders. According to a study by Georgetown University, 71 percent of jobs in the state are expected to require postsecondary education by 2020. This may be especially true for the state's growing health care, finance and insurance, and scientific and technical industries. Earning a degree online can help you be prepared for that educational requirement. And if you're already busy with work and/or family duties, online programs can give you the flexibility to take classes when it's convenient for you.
Here's an overview of online colleges in Rhode Island:
One way Rhode Island supports higher education attainment is through the RI Transfers initiative. This program allows students who earn associate degrees at Rhode Island community colleges to transfer as juniors to four-year public colleges in the state. Transferring credits can also help students save on their college costs.
This page offers additional information on online colleges in Rhode Island, including a list of the best and most affordable ones, and state-specific financial aid resources to help you pay for your online degree.
In order to help students find their ideal distance education program, OnlineColleges.com has compiled multiple rankings of the best online colleges in Rhode Island. The colleges in our rankings are all accredited by nationally recognized accreditation agencies. Many public, private and independent schools in Rhode Island are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), although there are other national and programmatic agencies that are recognized in the state. Students can learn more about the importance of accreditation from our "What is College Accreditation?" article, and state-specific information about accreditation can be checked at the Rhode Island Department of Education.
Our rankings analyze online colleges in Rhode Island based on multiple factors that have relevance to the online educational experience. Educational quality, financial considerations and academic resources are all important considerations when choosing an online college. For this reason, we use and display data points such as the number of online programs offered, the cost of in-state tuition, the student support services offered, and more. Review the "What Makes a Good Online College?" section of our "About Us" page for a full description of what we consider essential in a distance learning program and why.
Choosing between a set of schools isn't easy when you're unsure how they compare to each other. To make your job easier, we used data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to compare Rhode Island's online colleges on details such as acceptance rate, net price and number of online programs. The unique methodology we used to create this ranking can be read about in more detail at the bottom of this page.
The following list names the schools in Rhode Island that offer online degree programs 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.
Applicant must be a Rhode Island resident, a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, demonstrate financial need, and file the FAFSA. Applicant must be enrolled at least part time in a degree or certificate program.
Applicant must be a high school senior, a Rhode Island resident, a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen, and be able to demonstrate academic merit and financial need. Must file the FAFSA and take either the SAT or ACT test in order to apply.
Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited nonprofit post-secondary institution offering either a two-year associate or a four-year college degree.
Applicant must have been a resident of Bristol, R.I. for a minimum of four years, be a U.S. citizen, be accepted at an accredited institution of higher learning, and have financial need. Priority will be given to undergraduate study
Selection is based upon academic achievement.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate financial need and three-year residency in Portsmouth, Middletown or Newport, Rhode Island.
Applicant must be the child of a full-time A.T. Cross Company employee.
Applicants must be descendants of a member of Franklin Lodge or descendants of other freemasons who are Rhode Island residents. Preference is given to prior year's recipients.
Applicant must be a Rhode Island Legislative Page who is enrolled in college or university.
Though Rhode Island does not offer any student loans through the state proper, a nonprofit quasi-state authority has stepped in to provide assistance to students. The Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) does not receive any funds from the state, but does provide low-cost state-based loans exclusively to Rhode Island students. Be sure to seek out scholarship and grant money before relying on student loans. If you find that you are still in need of financial assistance, you will need to fill out the FAFSA and supply information about your family's financial situation in order to apply for federal student loans. RISLA and other private loan programs have their own application processes.
Explore how student loans work in the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.
It's commonly known that it's typically cheaper to attend college in your home state than in another state due to the dreaded cost of out-of-state tuition, but there's good news for New England residents. Students from any New England state, including Rhode Island, can attend college at a public university in other states at the in-state tuition rate as long as the major they are enrolling in is not offered in their home state. You can search for programs here.
It may sound too good to be true, but it's true indeed: during the 2016-2017 academic year, more than 9,000 New England residents saved some $60 million in tuition thanks the RSP (New England Regional Student Program) Tuition Break. On average, a full-time RSP student receives a tuition break of $8,033. Here's to making in-state tuition (or close to it) a possibility if you are dreaming of heading to college in Rhode Island. Be sure to speak with an adviser for more insight into your particular educational goals as an out-of-state student.
Rhode Island's economy is moving away from its traditional roots in industries such as manufacturing, fishing and agriculture. The Ocean State's economy has come to be powered by financial, business and service-oriented industries. Increasingly, a college degree is required for many of the high demand jobs in Rhode Island. But what degree should you earn, and what job should you pursue after earning it?
The data compiled in this section covers statewide employment, job projections and average salaries for some of the best jobs to have in Rhode Island. With it, students can determine which majors and career paths might make the most sense for them to pursue.
|Employment||Employment Growth||Median High School Salary||Median Bachelor's Salary|
*Industry rankings determined by annual mean wage, employment, projected growth and location quotient. Data sourced from the BLS, 2019 dataset.
|Top Industries||Employment||Projected Growth||Average Salary|
|Educational services; state, local, and private||419,850||6%||$64,795|
|Hospitals; state, local, and private||377,620||6%||$65,864|
|Waste management and remediation services||195,210||7%||$67,208|
|Heavy and civil engineering construction||242,200||7%||$64,503|
|Construction of buildings||230,870||7%||$68,852|
|Support activities for transportation||237,400||6%||$64,090|
Rhode Island is a major freight corridor in the northeastern U.S. Rail freight moves along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, while the bulk of marine freight moves through the Port of Davisville and Port of Providence. Air freight, meanwhile, moves through three primary airports. Students who earn degrees in supply chain management, logistics, human resources or other related fields could be well-positioned to pursue careers in the different kinds of transportation Rhode Island has to offer, helping to ship goods and resources across the rest of the United States.
Construction is another major economic sector for Rhode Island, both on its own and as part of the transportation industry. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has been implementing an in-depth 10-year plan known as RhodeWorks, designed to improve the infrastructure of Rhode Island's bridges, roads, bike paths, ferry services and more. Plans for storm water management and other waste and remediation services are also being targeted by the state government. Between all the different construction opportunities in the state, Rhode Island's Department of Labor and Training predicts a 36-percent rise in general construction employment from 2012-2022, with another 22 percent spike in employment for civil and heavy engineers.
In the section below, we'll drill down at the data in a specific metro area and take a closer look at several of the top careers in the Providence-Warwick region.
Finance and financial services are an important industry in Rhode Island, and the state capital of Providence ranks among the leading financial centers in the New England region. Talented financial managers are among the high paying jobs in Providence, as their skills and knowledge are needed to help those leading financial centers handle their assets wisely.
Postsecondary educational administrators, meanwhile, are among the most needed jobs in Providence. Just under 16,000 people were employed in the education sector in Providence as of 2017, the state's Department of Labor and Training reports. Yet with institutions such as Brown University, Providence College and Rhode Island College in the area, the need for qualified educators is high -- and it may only continue to grow as Baby Boomer teachers continue to retire and leave the field.
|Best Careers||Minimum Education||Average Salary||Employment|
|Financial Managers||Bachelor's degree||$159,050||2,770|
|Electronics Engineers, Except Computer||Bachelor's degree||$120,720||1,200|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||Bachelor's degree||$128,150||2,180|
|Pharmacists||Doctoral or professional degree||$124,840||1,760|
|Education Administrators, Postsecondary||Master's degree||$118,710||920|
*Career rankings determined by annual mean wage, employment, projected growth and location quotient. Data sourced from the BLS, 2019 dataset.