Why This Matters


    The 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the average high school diploma holder earns a median weekly wage of $746, but bachelor’s degree holders make approximately $1,248 per week.


    According to College Board, the average Rhode Island student paid $13,630 in tuition and fees at public in-state colleges during the 2020-21 school year.


    College Board estimates that, during the 2019-20 school year, the average full-time U.S. undergraduate student received $14,940 in financial aid.

Our Research

To create our list of the best online colleges in Rhode Island, we examined everything from research universities and midsize institutions to small liberal arts colleges. Factors we considered include tuition costs, the minimum number of credits needed to graduate, and whether the coursework was offered online or in a hybrid format.

We helped assure the quality of these institutions by focusing solely on accredited schools. The schools on this list are all accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), a regional accreditor recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). NECHE confirms the value of post-secondary institutions by reviewing academic objectives, performances, and overall effectiveness. College students in need of professional credentials after graduation must attend an accredited institution.

  • 39 hours to write this article
  • 25 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 26 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Colleges in Rhode Island

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What You Should Know About Graduating From College in Rhode Island

As you research online colleges and consider your area of study, take into account your salary objectives and career potential. As of May 2020, the highest paying careers for bachelor’s degree holders in Rhode Island were chief executives, compensation and benefits managers, sales managers, architectural and engineering managers, and marketing managers.

Prospective students should consider which fields are more open to hiring new workers. The occupations that require a bachelor’s degree and are projected to have the most annual job openings in Rhode Island are registered nurses, general and operations managers, accountants and auditors, management analysts, and secondary school teachers (excluding special and technical education).

As you contemplate career options and what you’ll study in school, consider the fields that are expected to decline. In Rhode Island, the occupations expected to undergo a high percentage drop in employment for bachelor’s degree holders over the next decade are editors, chief executives, labor relations specialists, vocational education teachers (postsecondary), and computer programmers.

What’s Next?

An important factor to consider as you pursue higher education is cost. To help undergraduate students in Rhode Island find funding, we’ve assembled a list of federal and state resources that offer information about financial aid opportunities.

  • Rhode Island Department of Education. This resource connects Rhode Island residents to local, state, and federal funding. It also offers information about scholarships and grants provided by non-profit organizations.
  • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid offers over $120 billion in financial aid annually, including scholarships, grants, and loans. Interested students should visit the FAFSA4caster to check their eligibility and apply by completing the online FAFSA form.
  • CareerOneStop. This resource, sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, provides details about scholarships and grants in each state. After filtering their search by degree level and location, students can access useful details about award amounts, qualification requirements, and application deadlines.