The country’s smallest state is taking big steps when it comes to higher education with its increase in online colleges in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island has joined Complete College America, a national effort to boost the number of college graduates in each state, which will in turn help sustain the economy. The statewide goal is to have 70% of working-age Rhode Islanders hold at least an associate’s degree by 2025. And so far, things are on track. Graduation rates for lower-income students in the state have surpassed the national average.
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Rhode Island has lofty goals, but the state is working hard to reach them and provide excellent educational opportunities to its residents.
About Online Colleges in Rhode Island
The rigors of college can be especially challenging for students who must also balance a career or family life. Online learning provides a convenient, flexible alternative that can fit students’ existing schedules.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) indicates that 12.8% of Rhode Island’s higher education students were enrolled in online courses exclusively. Another 24.3% of students were participating in a hybrid of online and on-campus courses. Those numbers continue to rise as colleges have increased their online offerings.
Mid-career professionals may be especially interested in various master’s programs, which blend online and on-campus study in fields like business, cybersecurity, and healthcare. Private nonprofit universities also offer a particularly robust selection of online college programs, including more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in areas from accounting to tourism and hospitality management, and more than a dozen unique certificate programs.
Students looking to attend a community college in Rhode Island can choose from more than 200 online courses a year. Nearly all of the postsecondary schools in Rhode Island offer online courses and/or programs. The courses are taught by the same faculty as traditional on-campus courses, and the students have access to the same resources, including personal advisors, tutoring programs, financial assistance, career placement, and so on.
Common Online Degrees in Rhode Island
There are many different online schools in Rhode Island offering degrees. To help you identify a good degree to study at a university in Rhode Island online, we’ve listed a few common options below:
- Economics: Economics majors study how communities, organizations, corporations, individuals, and nations decide to use their limited resources. Students studying economics develop their data analysis, theoretical skills, and understanding of businesses, consumers, and policy-making institutions.
- Marketing: A marketing degree teaches students quantitative and qualitative skills while helping them develop their creative skills for successful careers in sales, marketing, and advertising in the nonprofit and profit sectors.
- International Business: Those who choose an international business degree could learn about goods, services, finance, marketing, management, and the impact of national and international regulations on markets and commerce.
- Health Care Administration: Students undertaking this degree gain entry-level theoretical and practical skills in health care administration to take up management positions. They also learn how to manage medical facilities and personnel to improve overall efficiency.
- Finance: During this degree, students develop a firm understanding of practical and theoretical financial issues while learning to become competent in using modern finance and quantitative tools in personal and corporate finance.
These are only a few of the online degrees offered in this state.
Overview of Higher Education in Rhode Island
As the country’s smallest state, Rhode Island spans just 48 miles north to south and 37 miles east to west. But despite its size, the state offers an ample variety of schools including research universities, private colleges, a prestigious art school, and an Ivy League university.
In all, Rhode Island is home to 13 degree-granting institutions, according to the NCES. Of those, 3 of them are public schools and 10 are non-profit private schools. There are no for-profit schools. While tuition rates in Rhode Island are above the national average, according to a report from the NCES, it is not among the top 5 most expensive states in which to pursue higher education.
Tuition and fees for an in-state student at one of Rhode Island’s public 4-year institutions are $14,799, on average. Out-of-state students will pay around $24,790. Students whose chosen major is not available at a Rhode Island school are invited to enroll in programs at schools in nearby states, thanks to the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) and its Regional Student Program (RSP).
This agreement allows residents to enroll in degree programs in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont at a discount if those programs are not offered by public schools within their home state. Altogether, the program provides access to thousands of undergraduate and graduate degree programs through various public colleges and universities.
Employment Outlook for College Graduates in Rhode Island
Rhode Island has about 457,720 workers employed annually. In this state, the biggest industries include manufacturing, trade and transportation, education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and government.
In recent years Rhode Islands’ unemployment rate has improved and is now slightly below the national average at 3.1%. This means more job hunters in Rhode Island have a better chance of finding employment, including college graduates. Additionally, according to the BLS, the average wage of Rhode Island employees is higher than that of employees across the US.
For example, in Rhode Island, workers earn around $62,120 annually, while in the US, workers earn $53,861 annually. These figures suggest that Rhode Island has a positive employment outlook for those looking to study and work in this state.
Careers & Salaries in Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, graduates are more likely to benefit from a strong economy and above-average salaries. The industries graduates can explore in this town include cybersecurity, biomedical sciences, shipbuilding, data analytics, environmental preservation, maritime fields, business services, tourism, and transportation.
According to the respected Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top-earning occupations in Rhode Island are below. Suppose you’re considering studying for an online degree in this state. In that case, learning more about the jobs with the best career opportunities and salaries might be an excellent idea.
|Annual Median Salaries
|Family Medicine Physicians
|Architectural and Engineering Managers
|Compensation and Benefits Managers
|Computer and Information Systems Managers
|Public Relations Managers
|Human Resources Managers
|Administrative Services Managers
These are only a few of the top-earning careers that could be available to students depending on their degree, skills, and preferences. If none of the careers listed interest you, it might be time to speak with a career advisor.
Online Universities in Rhode Island Admissions Requirements
To be accepted to a university in Rhode Island, you must meet the institution’s admission requirements. Many schools have their own admission requirements, but there are a few common requirements you should note, and they are as follows:
- SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them).
- Official academic transcripts, grade scores, and certificates.
- A minimum of units of college preparatory work (if required)
- A college essay
In addition, some colleges have a foreign language requirement, and most require an application fee.
Online Colleges in RI Accreditation
Most students who undertake an online degree in Rhode Island choose to do so at a regionally accredited institution. Regional accreditation is the highest level of accreditation a school can receive and is better than national accreditation because students have access to more benefits.
In addition, employers are more likely to hire graduates who have studied at a regionally accredited institution than those who have not. This is because regional accreditation is only awarded to schools that enact and follow strict academic guidelines.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
If you plan to pursue a degree at one of the Rhode Island universities online, the first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
As a Rhode Islander, you have access to an outstanding program called the RI Promise. Through this program, recent Rhode Island high school graduates can pursue an associate degree at the Community College of Rhode Island for four semesters tuition-free, regardless of their income.
Additionally, many of Rhode Island’s colleges and universities offer their own financial aid programs, both need-based and merit-based. Private scholarships can offer further financial assistance. Here are a few available to Rhode Islanders:
- Academic Advantage: $500
- Desiree Mesolella Art Scholarship: (2) $5000
- Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship: $3000 to $17,000 annually
- The Imperial Court of Rhode Island Memorial Scholarship Fund: Varies
- Thomas F. Black, Jr. Memorial Scholarship: (2) $25,000
To learn about more possible opportunities, consider checking with the financial aid office at the school you have chosen.
Rhode Island Online Education Resources
If you’re seeking educational resources for online degrees in Rhode Island, you will find the following of interest:
- State of Rhode Island Office of Innovation: This cross-university program helps students save money on books.
- Rhode Island Foundation: This foundation helps students obtain college and graduate-level scholarships.
- RI Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner: This organization offers insights into multiple schools in Rhode Island. You can use this resource to learn more about various schools you might be interested in attending.
You can use these Rhode Island resources to fully explore the choices that will assist you with your college education.
How Much Does It Cost to Go to an Online College in Rhode Island?
Cost is among the most important considerations when studying for an online degree in Rhode Island. According to NCES statistics, it’s been determined that Rhode Island’s average tuition pricing is higher than the US average.
For example, the average cost for an undergraduate in-state four-year program at public institutions in Rhode Island is estimated at $25,592, while the US average is $21,035. With costs higher than in other states, it’s usually best to consider applying for scholarships to help offset some of the costs.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
Tuition breaks for out-of-state students can be considered tuition savings offered by select Rhode Island colleges.
Often in-state tuition is much more cost-effective for native Rhode Islanders, with out-of-state students paying more for tuition. However, tuition breaks are available for students who want to attend an online school in Rhode Island. For example, numerous colleges in Rhode Island charge students a flat fee, no matter their state of residency.
In addition, thanks to the New England Board of Higher Education’s tuition break reciprocity program, qualifying students can enjoy discounted tuition in neighboring states. This program allows students who aren’t residents to attend select public universities in any of the five New England participating states at a significantly discounted cost.
Yet, this only applies if their program isn’t offered in their home state. This tuition break program covers over 800 undergrad and graduate programs in over 80 participating schools.
What Jobs Are in High Demand in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island has experienced improved employment in recent years, with many industries actively seeking employees.
According to the BLS, there are numerous jobs in high demand in Rhode Island, and you will find the top five professions below:
- Office and Administrative Support
- Sales and Related Occupations
- Food Preparation and Serving
- Business and Financial Operations
- Healthcare Practitioners and Technical
Besides these five, there are many other jobs in Rhode Island, so it’s best to research to discover more about the job market for your chosen profession.
What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in Rhode Island?
Many factors affect why some jobs pay more than others in Rhode Island. For example, some jobs require more work experience, education, and knowledge than others, so they pay more than lower-paying jobs that don’t have many prerequisites.
Although there are several high-paying jobs in Rhode Island, three of the highest-paying professions, according to the BLS annually, include surgeons grossing $356,680; radiologists grossing $338,480; and obstetricians grossing $304,860. Yet, there isn’t a guarantee that receiving an online degree from a Rhode Island university will secure you a job in your chosen profession.
List of Online Colleges in Rhode Island
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Brown University offers a wide variety of low-residency and fully online degree programs such as an Executive MBA, a Master’s in Technology Leadership, a Master’s in Healthcare Leadership, and a Master’s in Cybersecurity. Brown aims to put their teaching to work in the service of larger endeavors that serve the common good.
Brown University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Bryant University offers fully online degree programs with study areas such as Actuarial Science, Taxation, and Business Administration, as well as a variety of on-campus programs that may offer some classes online. Bryant’s degree programs are designed to blend the study of liberal arts with real-world job skills.
Bryant University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Johnson & Wales University offers flexible online degree programs. Study areas include Advertising and Marketing Communications, Human Resource Management, Computer Science, Psychology, Entrepreneurship, Accounting, and Digital Marketing and Social Media. Course schedules are designed to meet the needs of working professionals and military veterans.
Johnson & Wales University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The New England Institute of Technology offers accelerated online degree programs in areas of study such as Interior Design, Digital Media Production, Business Management, Cybersecurity and Network Engineering, Electrical Engineering Technology, and Criminal Justice. Having already earned an associate’s degree may lead to bachelor’s degree completion in 18 months.
New England Institute of Technology is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Providence College offers a variety of flexible degree programs. Common areas of study include Liberal Studies, Professional Studies, and Social Science. Most of these programs are part-time and primarily online, with only a few required campus visits. Classes may last 4, 5, 10, or 14 weeks.
Providence College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.
Roger Williams University offers online graduate degree programs. Popular areas of study include Cybersecurity, Public Administration, Leadership, and Criminal Justice. Courses are typically taught in an asynchronous manner, but may have synchronous forums intended to allow participation in class discussions.
Roger Williams University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Salve Regina University offers online and low-residency graduate degree programs in study areas such as Business Administration, Healthcare Administration, Behavior Analysis, and International Relations. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is also commonly available with an RN license. Evening scheduling options may be available for taking some courses on campus.
Salve Regina is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Rhode Island offers online degree programs in strategic communication and early childhood care and education. Courses typically provide all-day access to learning materials and lectures. One-on-one feedback from instructors is commonly given and participation in class discussions is often encouraged.
The University of Rhode Island is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Getting Your Online Degree in Rhode Island
This tiny New England state is packed with exceptional schools, offers a variety of online learning opportunities, and has generous financial aid programs to help with costs. Rhode Island students are on the road to success.
When you’re ready to take the next step, you may want to consider researching accredited online RI colleges that offer your chosen degree program.