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Rhode Island College appears in these rankings:

50 Best Value Colleges for a Criminal Justice Degree

7 Best Value Colleges and Universities in Rhode Island

Rhode Island College is one of the oldest colleges along the East Coast. Originally founded in 1854 as the Rhode Island State Normal School, it primarily offered teaching programs during its early years that helped students understand the hardships associated with teaching others. That school became the first normal school in the United States and led to the founding of similar schools all across the country. A rapid population increase led to the school building a new campus and new residence halls to house the students who came from other states. The current college houses many historic buildings that date back to the early days of the campus and some historic buildings relating to the history of the state itself.

Though the college started life as a normal school, it added new programs based on the needs and demands of new students. The college now offers programs on social work, business, psychology, history, computer science and other topics, and it uses five different schools dedicated to specific fields of study. It received its highest ranking in history in 2011 after Forbes included RIC on its list of best colleges in the United States. The college has a student population of 9,000, with more than 60% of its students being female. Viola Davis, an Emmy Award winner for her role in the television series How to Get Away With Murder, is one of the college's most famous alumni.

Rhode Island College Accreditation Details

Though Rhode Island College existed for a number of years without accreditation, it applied for and received accreditation in the 1950s from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The NEASC requires that all the colleges it accredits apply for renewal of that accreditation every 10 years or more often. RIC most recently received accreditation in 2010. The college also looks for organizations that can grant accreditation to some of its top degree programs. It received accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education for the degree program it offers that prepares students to enter the social work field. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education also granted the college accreditation for its teaching programs. Other accreditation that the college has comes from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification.

Rhode Island College Application Requirements

The Common Application is an online application system used by dozens of colleges in the northeast and other parts of the country. Rhode Island College eliminated its paper application in favor of this online system, which lets students begin their applications and come back later to complete each section. Students can fulfill most of the requirements associated with applying to a college through this online system. They will need to create an account with the site, choose a password and link the account back to a registered and valid email address. The Common Application covers basic information relating to grades, hobbies, extracurricular activities, interests and class ranking. Rhode Island College also requires that students pay a $50 fee when applying.

Students must also send three documents to the college. They need to take and submit the score received on the ACT and ACT writing test or a score received on the SAT. RIC also asks that students mail official transcripts from their high schools and a letter of recommendation from a guidance counselor. Students who completed a home school program must mail scores from a standardized test or the scores they received on the GED. They will also need to show that they took classes from an accredited home school program.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition costs charged by Rhode Island College vary based on where students live. The college charges different tuition rates for Rhode Island residents, those who live in neighboring states and those who live in other states. The cost of tuition and fees for Rhode Island residents is a little over $8,000 a year for full time students, but those living out of state pay closer to $20,000 a year. RIC implemented a discount tuition program for residents of New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Students living in those states pay less than $12,000 a year for their tuition. The cost of room and board adds up to $12,000 a year to the total cost of attending RIC.

Rhode Island College has different financial aid packages available for students, but it cannot award any funds unless students complete the FAFSA. The most common type of aid is something called a Perkins loan, and students will need to attend loan counseling before they graduate. Both unsubsidized and subsidized loans are available to undergraduates, and students may receive grants, scholarships or access to a work study program. Parents of enrolled students may also apply for PLUS loans through the government.

Rhode Island College Programs

One of the more unique programs available through Rhode Island College is something called the Exploring program. The college designed this program for students who had a hard time declaring a major. Undeclared students take a combination of courses in history, humanities, business, math, social sciences and life sciences. They have the chance to sample courses from a range of disciplines and either select a major in one field or graduate with a degree in general studies.

Though many schools in the region offer a minor in Gender and Women's Studies, RIC is one of the only colleges that offers this field as a major. The program allows students to learn more about the role of women in history, how gender affects different topics today and the difference between different genders. Some of its graduates did major research on the topic and published books and journal articles.

RIC also offers an accredited social work program that helps students learn the duties associated with social work. Though some states require that social workers have a graduate degree, some areas let workers enter the field with an undergraduate degree. Rhode Island College requires that students in this program gain some hands on work before graduating with some type of internship or fieldwork experience they complete at a local agency or organization.

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