Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States at only 1,214 square miles of land area. From north to south, the state spans 48 miles and from east to west it spans only 37 miles. Despite not covering a lot of land, the Ocean State is the second most-densely populated state in the nation behind New Jersey.

That means there are many students in the state who would love to be the recipients of financial aid to help them attend a Rhode Island college. These students are in luck as there are many options when it comes to applying for and receiving college financial aid in Rhode Island whether the aid comes from the state or a third-party provider.

Various Nursing Scholarships

There are five key nursing scholarships that are awarded to Rhode Island residents and students that can be very helpful when it comes to beginning and continuing their college education.

The convenient and unique thing about these five nursing program scholarships is a student can use and submit one application for all five of the programs as long as the student is eligible for at least one of the programs.

Students do have to re-apply annually for the scholarships, even if they are simply renewing their scholarship from the previous year; all five of these scholarships are renewable.

The award amount on each scholarship can vary from year to year, though the totals on all the awards can fall in the range of $500 to $5,000.

Albert E. & Florence W. Newton Nursing Scholarship

There are two ways to be eligible for the Albert E. & Florence W. Newton Nursing Scholarship. The first way is to be a Rhode Island resident who is studying nursing at either an in-state college or an out-of-state college. The second way is to be a non-Rhode Island resident who is studying nursing at a Rhode Island college.

John J. O’Connor, Jr. Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund

The John J. O’Connor, Jr. Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund is designed to go to students who demonstrate a financial need for funding and those who demonstrate academic excellence in the classroom. To be eligible, a student must also be a Rhode Island resident attending an in-state postsecondary institution and the student must be attending school to receive a CNA, associate, or bachelor’s nursing degree.

Edward J. & Virginia M. Routhier Nursing Scholarship

The Edward J. & Virginia M. Routhier Nursing Scholarship is designed to be given to those students who demonstrate a financial need for additional college funding. Students who are enrolled in a nursing bachelor’s degree program at a Rhode Island postsecondary institution are welcome to apply. Licensed RNs who are also seeking a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree in nursing at a Rhode Island postsecondary institution are also able to apply.

Willard & Marjorie Scheibe Nursing Scholarship

The Willard & Marjorie Scheibe Nursing Scholarship is open to applicants who are Rhode Island residents, demonstrate a financial need for funding and are pursuing an LPN, RN or advance nursing degree in Rhode Island.

Alan Edgar Wurdeman Scholarship Fund

The Alan Edgar Wurdeman Scholarship Fund is an award that is designed to help keep nurses in Rhode Island. Award recipients are typically those students who are committed to staying in Rhode Island to work as nurses after their college graduation. To also be eligible for the award, a student must be a Rhode Island resident, be pursuing an LPN or RN nursing degree at a Rhode Island postsecondary institution or the Northeastern University School of Nursing, and maintain a minimum 2.50 GPA.

Patty & Melvin Alperin First Generation Scholarship

The Patty & Melvin Alperin First Generation Scholarship is awarded to students who are the first in their families to attend and graduate from college.

To be eligible, a student must:

  • Be a college-bound Rhode Island high school senior,
  • Demonstrate a financial need for funding,
  • Be accepted or enrolled as a full-time student at an accredited 2- or 4-year college, and
  • Have parents who did not graduate from any type of college (including a community college or a college in a different country).

Recipients can renew the scholarship for up to 4 years and the award amount can be between $1,000 to $1,500.

Frances L. Macartney Porter Fund

The Frances L. Macartney Porter Fund is intended to help single parents afford to continue their education regardless of what type of Rhode Island postsecondary institution they attend. In fact, preference is given to eligible students who are attending trade schools over major universities.

To be eligible for this fund, a student must:

  • Be a single parent,
  • Be a Rhode Island resident or attend a Rhode Island postsecondary institution (does not have to be both),
  • Be enrolled in at least a certificate program (which is encouraged); the program does not need to be a degree-conferring program.

The award is renewable and a student can receive between $1,000 to $4,000 per year from it.

Rhode Island PBS Scholarship

The Rhode Island PBS Scholarship is a fairly new program as it was established 2017 by the Rhode Island PBS station to help students attend college and earn a degree in the broadcasting, communications and/or journalism fields.

To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must:

  • Be a Rhode Island resident OR a Bristol County, Massachusetts resident AND provide proof of residency,
  • Be a college-bound, graduating high school senior who will be attending an accredited 4-year postsecondary institution OR a student currently attending an accredited 4-year postsecondary institution,
  • Demonstrate how the student is working towards having a successful career in the broadcasting, communications and/or journalism fields,
  • Complete and submit the online Rhode Island PBS Scholarship application form,
  • Submit their most recent high school or college transcript,
  • Complete and submit the Student Financial Aid Report,
  • Complete and submit the Scholarship Resume Worksheet, and
  • Submit a recommendation letter from a teacher or working professional in the broadcasting, communications and/or journalism field.

Current employees of the Rhode Island PBS branch, the employees’ children and the employees’ other immediate family members are not eligible to receive the scholarship.

If a student is chosen as a scholarship recipient, they will receive up to $15,000 annually for their education; the award is renewable for up to 3 additional years.

Major Rhode Island Colleges and Universities

Rhode Island may not be home to a ton of colleges and universities, but it is home to some very prestigious schools. In fact, Rhode Island is home to New England’s largest community college:  the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick.

Some of the state’s major public and private 4-year colleges and universities include:

  • Brown University in Providence (private),
  • Providence College in Providence (private),
  • Rhode Island College in Providence (public),
  • Roger Williams University in Bristol (private), and
  • University of Rhode Island in Kingston (public).

While Rhode Island may have been the last of the 13 colonies to officially become part of the United States, it is definitely not last in the country when it comes to offering great forms of financial aid to its resident students who want to pursue a college education.