Last Updated: September 19, 2021
Rhode Island - The Ocean State
Being the smallest state in the US, Rhode Island has a pretty dense population of about 1 million. The city of Providence is the capital of the state. The state was initially known as 'Roodt Eylandt', named by Adrian Block who was a Dutch explorer. The name meant red island representing the red hue of the state's soil. With the colonization of the state by the British, it was renamed Rhode Island.
Due to the excessively long coastline (more than 400 miles), the state got its popular nickname "The Ocean State". Other nicknames include 'Little Rhody' and 'The Smallest State'. Out of the thirteen colonies, Rhode Island was the first state to declare its independence from British rule. Rhode Island experiences a mildly humid climate most of the time, with the only exception being during winters (which are usually cold). The state is home to some of the best institutes of higher learning such as Brown University, and the University of Rhode Island.
Major Cities in Rhode Island
Providence is the largest city in the tiny state of Rhode Island with a population of about 180,000. It is one of the oldest cities in America, as it was founded in the year 1636. The city was founded by a Puritan clergyman named Roger Williams. Providence is a major educational hub that houses major institutions such as Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, and Providence College. The cost of living as well as pursuing education is comparatively higher than the national average. There are numerous attractions in this city like Roger Williams Park Zoo, The Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design RISD, The Providence Performing Arts Center, WaterFire, The Providence Athenaeum, etc.
Cranston is the second-biggest city of Rhode Island with an estimated population of 82,000. This city is known for its beauty and numerous landscapes. Even though the cost of living is higher than the national average, it is considered one of the safest cities to live in. Initially a native settlement of the Narragansett Indians, the place was later colonized by the English and renamed Cranston. It was established as a city in the year 1910. Popular sites include Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, Crescent Park Carousel, Cranston Public Library, Central Library, Pawtuxet Village, John L. Curran State Park, Meshanticut Park, and so on.
Warwick is the third-biggest city with a population of around 80,000. The city is well known for its rich history, especially during the Revolutionary War. It was founded in 1642 and was named after the 2nd Earl of Warwick, Robert Rich. Warwick is a major manufacturing hub and offers several job opportunities. The top companies in the city are Kent Hospital, J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center, Kenney Manufacturing, and AstroNova. Popular destinations include Goddard State Park, Oakland Beach, Rocky Point Blueberry Farm, Warwick Public Library, and more.
With a population of about 72,000, Pawtucket is the fourth major city in Rhode Island. It was a largely industrialized city with various mills and had a flourishing textile industry as well. The place was founded in the year 1671. The city is currently a major manufacturing center, and many large companies like Hasbro, Inc., Collette, Tunstall Americas, Pet Food Experts, and Teknor Apex are headquartered here. Major tourist attractions in the city are Old Slater Mill National Historic Landmark, Slater Memorial Park, Rusty Wallace Racing Experience, Pawtucket Falls, and Breaktime Bowl and Bar.
- Given that Rhode Island played a crucial role in the industrialization process, the economy of the state was highly dependent on the textile and fishing industry. It gradually shifted to the manufacturing sector.
- Major industries that contribute to the economy of the state are shipbuilding, business services, agriculture, tourism, life sciences, data analytics, and manufacturing.
- CVS Health, Cohoes Fashions, United Natural Foods, Citizens Financial Group, Nortek, NTK Holdings are the largest companies located in this state.
- The economy of the state went downhill after the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic. The tourism and hospitality sectors were at a major loss.
- Even with a GDP growth of 7.2% and an unemployment rate of 5.8%, the economy of the state seems to be recovering at an extremely low pace, compared to other states.
Tuition Fee and Living Cost in Rhode Island
The cost of living in the Ocean State is comparatively higher than the national average. Housing costs, food, and utility costs are the highest, whereas healthcare services are the lowest when compared to the nation's average. The median household income in the state is about $68,000. The cost of pursuing an educational career is also costlier than the national average.
The average fee in a private institution is about $53,000 to $54,000, and the average fee in a public institute is around $27,000 (out-of-state). Considering the average fee of the institutions, if we compare the costs with that of Brown University (Providence), it is a much higher rate of around $62,000. Students planning to study here must be sure about their financial status or reach out for financial aid from their respective universities, or the websites of the specific scholarship program.
List of Few Major Universities/Colleges
Some of the top institutes of higher learning in the state are:
- Brown University Brown is one of the oldest and the most prestigious Ivy League research universities. It is situated in the capital city of Providence. Founded in 1764, the university is known for its unique curriculum that promotes student-centered learning. The university has a system called the 'Open Curriculum' that allows students to design a curriculum that suits their career aspirations. They also offer a wide range of more than 2000 undergraduate courses. This aspect of flexibility allows students to love what they learn, especially with the guidance of some of the most renowned faculty members. This approach justifies the primary motive of the university, that is ".. the intellectual joy of students drives academic excellence." With approximately 11,000 students and 816 full-time faculty members, the student-to-faculty ratio is 6:1. The university is also one of the most expensive institutes of higher learning that charges around $62,000 for both undergraduates and graduates.
- University of Rhode Island Situated in the village of Kingston, the University of Rhode Island is a public institute known for its diverse student body as well as beautiful atmosphere. It was founded in the year 1892. With around 21,000 students, the student-to-teacher ratio is 16:1. The university offers more than 200 academic programs. The university offers an excellent education at an affordable rate for its in-state students. The fee for undergraduate in-state students is around $16,000 and about $34,000 for out-of-state students. The specialty of this institution is to train its scholars for innovative thinking and critical exploration.
- Rhode Island School of Design Situated in the capital city of Providence, it is a private, non-profit institute. Founded in the year 1877 by Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf, the Rhode Island School of Design offers some of the best liberal arts and fine arts programs. With more than 2,500 students and more than 600 faculty members, the student-to-faculty ratio is 9:1. This is an institution that aims to support budding artists of every field, polish their skills, and help them explore diverse methods of learning that enhance their creativity. The fee charged for undergraduates and graduates is around $56,000.
- New England Institute of Technology This is another esteemed private university in Rhode Island, situated in the town of East Greenwich. It was established in the year 1940. This university offers the best education by some of the most renowned faculty members, assuring a bright future for its scholars. It aims to develop not just professional skills, but also interpersonal skills in its students. The university offers 12 main areas of study namely, Architecture, Interior Design & Construction Management, Automotive & Marine Technology, Business Management, Criminal Justice, Cybersecurity, Engineering Technology, Information Technology, Digital Media & Web Design, Video Game Development & Design, Nursing & Health Sciences, Professional Building Trades, and Veterinary Technology.
Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students
Scholarship programs and grants play a significant role in making education a burden-free experience. It is a great tool for deserving students who cannot afford quality education in a reputed institute. These programs can be categorized in several ways, based on merit, financial need, race, gender, major, and so on. Considering the high cost of living in Rhode Island as well as higher costs in educational institutions compared to the national average, scholarships are a necessity. However, due to the small size and lack of adequate funding, Rhode Island does not have many grant programs compared to other states. Despite this issue, several private organizations provide financial aid. All students must complete the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before applying for any such program.
- Rhode Island State Grant: This is a state grant that offers minor support to the residents of Rhode Island. To be eligible for the program, the student must pursue an undergraduate program from an accredited institution on a full-time or part-time basis. The candidate must be a citizen of the US devoid of criminal records. Applicants may have to submit an academic transcript, along with an essay. The award amount will be anything between $250 to $700.
- College-Bound Fund Academic Promise Scholarship: This is a merit-based as well as a need-based program, the award amount being $2,500 to $10,000 annually. The applicant must be a high school senior from Rhode Island, planning to pursue a degree at an accredited institution on a full-time basis. The student should display satisfactory academic merit with the highest possible SAT or ACT score. A minimum score of 2.50 to 3.00 GPA must be maintained during college.
- Greater Boston Chapter Leadership Award: This is a scholarship program that focuses on the academic merit and the major of the student. It is sponsored by the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP). The candidate can be an undergraduate or graduate pursuing 'occupational safety and health' or any major related to this field. The student must be a permanent resident of Rhode Island and attend an accredited institution on a full-time basis. Other requirements include being an American Society of Safety Engineers(ASSE) Student Member, writing 2 essays on a given topic, submitting a letter of recommendation and personal statement, and maintaining a score of 3.0 GPA.
- Patty & Melvin Alperin First Generation Scholarship: This is a scholarship program that assists high school seniors of Rhode Island. This is a need-based program with an award amount of $1,000 to $1,500 based on the level of financial need. To be eligible, the student must be a US citizen and should attend a 2-year or 4-year accredited institution. The parents of the applicant should not have graduated from any institution within the state, or abroad.
- Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship Fund: This is a program for the undergraduate students of Rhode Island. To be eligible for this program, the student must attend a bachelor's program in an accredited US institution. This program does not apply to students pursuing an associate program. The student should display adequate financial need, excellent writing skills, take part in extracurricular activities, demonstrate qualities of leadership and service, and submit letters of recommendation along with the application.
The Ocean State is not only known for being a small state with a rich history, but is also popular for its vibrant cities, beautiful, sunny beaches, and refreshing parks. It is also ideal to visit the state between May and October and experience the pleasant and warm weather. Major tourist attractions of the state are Roger Williams Park Zoo, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum, Cliff Walk, WaterFire Providence, Bellevue Avenue Mansions, Fort Adams State Park, Narragansett Bay Beaches, Herreshoff Marine Museum, Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, and more. The state is also popular for its wide range of seafood, with clams being the most sought-after food (eg. clam cakes and fried clam). Some of the best delicacies to be tried out in this state are calamari, lobster ravioli, zeppole, stuffies, and clam chowder.
Universities & Colleges in Rhode Island
*UG - Undergraduate
*G - Graduate
*in - In-state Fees
*out - Out-of-State Fees
- Recommended program (Top 250)