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Rhode Island Scholarships and Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Rhode Island is home to 12 accredited universities and colleges. One of the most well-known research universities in Rhode Island is Brown University. The University of Rhode Island is the other major research university, and there are seven other campuses which offer advanced degrees. The Community College of Rhode Island has six campuses throughout the state, and there is also the New England Institute of Technology in Warwick and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. Students attending any of these post-secondary institutions may be eligible to receive financial assistance.

Rhode Island Scholarships and Financial Aid Programs

There are four main groups that offer financial assistance to students:

  • The U.S. Government offers grants and low-interest loans.
  • Rhode Island state government offers grants and scholarships.
  • Rhode Island universities and colleges offer scholarships.
  • Professional groups, foundations, and corporations in Rhode Island offer scholarships.

Financial Aid from the U.S. Government

Rhode Island students who have financial need may qualify for federal financial aid. File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid to see if you qualify. FAFSA applications are available January 1 the year before the year you need the assistance, and they are usually due on June 30 the year you need aid. The Rhode Island state FAFSA deadline is May 1 by midnight, Central Standard Time. Your school may also have its own deadline, so be sure to check with them. Although the deadline is not until June 30 the year you need the aid, you should apply as soon as possible to receive all available funding.

Once you have filed your FAFSA, your financial office will decide how much assistance you need and offer you grants and/or loans. You may accept as much as you want. If you would like more information about federal grants or student loans, see our Guide to Federal Grants and Guide to Student Loans.

Grants and Scholarships from Rhode Island State Government

The state of Rhode Island offers two financial aid programs to assist students with educational expenses:

Rhode Island State Grant Program
Rhode Island students who have financial need may qualify for this Rhode Island financial aid program. Students need to be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens and be Rhode Island residents since the beginning of the January before. File a FAFSA by May 1 the year before you need the aid.

CollegeBoundfund Academic Promise Scholarship
This Rhode Island financial aid program offers assistance to students who have financial need (determined by students’ Expected Family Contribution) and scored high on their SATs/ACTs. File a FAFSA and sign up to take the SAT or ACT.

Scholarships from Rhode Island Universities and Colleges

Universities and colleges in Rhode Island offer scholarships to students enrolled in their programs. These scholarships are usually given based on merit, need, major, special abilities, and a combination of these things. For example, Brown University offers the Sydney E. Frank Scholars Program to the neediest undergraduate students so that they do not need to borrow loans. This scholarship is administered through the admissions process. Students must apply for Early Admission or Regular Admission to the university before they can be considered for this program.

Some Rhode Island scholarships require students to enter into competitions. An example of this is the scholarships offered by the Rhode Island School of Design. These scholarships are awarded to students based on academic achievement and special abilities and require students to compete for awards. Another example is New England Institute of Technology’s competitions for high school juniors and seniors, which encourage about-to-graduate high school students to explore their career options.

The application procedures at each university are different. Check with your financial aid or scholarship office for more information on scholarships and how to apply for them.

Rhode Island Scholarships from Professional Groups, Foundations, and Corporations

If you still need more financial assistance, here is the next best place: your local community. There are many groups and organizations in the state of Rhode Island offering scholarships to students. Here are just a few of the available scholarships out there:

The Rhode Island Foundation
The foundation offers 150 scholarships to help students pay for their educational expenses. Click here to see which scholarships you may qualify for.

Rhode Island Press Association
The association offers a $1,000 scholarship to one student who is pursuing a career in journalism. Check the association homepage for current applications and deadlines.

Rhode Island Nursery & Landscape Association, Inc.
Four $2,500 scholarships are available to students who are studying plant science. For more information, contact the University of Rhode Island Foundation at 877-874-4555.

Rhode Island Pilots Association
The association offers two scholarships to students who are pursuing careers as a pilots, or who are studying related fields. Students must be Rhode Island residents. Click here for specific details and to download the application.

Rhode Island FFA Association
Three scholarships are available to students studying in related fields. The deadline for all three scholarships is March 15. Click here to download the applications.

Miss Rhode Island Scholarship
Winners and runners-up of the Miss Rhode Island Pageant receive scholarships to Bryant University, New England Institute of Technology, or Salve Regina University. Click here to apply to be in the Miss Rhode Island Pageant.

Three Things to Remember About Rhode Island Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • Rhode Island’s FAFSA deadline is May 1 the year before financial aid is needed.
  • Although there are only two Rhode Island financial aid programs, your university or college may offer more programs. Check with your school for other financial aid programs.
  • Corporations, professional groups, and nonprofit groups are great sources of scholarships. Check in your local area first before venturing off to find national scholarships. You may have a better chance with local scholarships.

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