2022 Top Public Universities in Rhode Island

Public universities are often the most affordable option for students pursuing higher education, but it’s not just affordability that makes these institutions attractive. Public universities also rank highly among the best universities in many states, Rhode Island included.

Public universities receive state and federal funding. Although they generally have larger class sizes than private institutions, they also tend to offer a wide variety of academic programs, diverse student bodies, and prestigious research opportunities.

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

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    School Name



    Learning Format

    School Type

    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.


    $<1,000 - $


    University of Rhode Island

    Kingston, RI

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    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition


    Out-of-State Tuition


    From its campus in Kingston, Rhode Island, University of Rhode Island educates college students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the institution helps students reach their educational goals. During a bachelor's degree, students take lower-division and upper-division coursework. Students also complete general education credits. Upper-division requirements focus on advanced concepts within a major. The school supports students with tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Learners at this accredited institution also qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. University of Rhode Island is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.


    Rhode Island College

    Providence, RI

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    In person

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    Out-of-State Tuition


    Located in Rhode Island, Rhode Island College enrolls students in 170 programs. Degree-seekers benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 14-to-1. According to the school, 93% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. The public institution reports a 46% graduation rate. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. Learners benefit from internships, research opportunities, and other forms of service learning. Prospective learners can expect admission rates of 81%. Some programs no longer require test scores for admission.


    Community College of Rhode Island

    Warwick, RI

    Graduation Rate





    In person

    In-State Tuition


    Out-of-State Tuition


    From its campus in Warwick, Rhode Island, Community College of Rhode Island grants college degrees as a public institution. The school offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to gain relevant knowledge and skills. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. The waiver makes it simpler to enroll. The school supports learners with academic help and career services. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs. Community College of Rhode Island is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education, an independent accrediting body.