RWU Ranks No. 1 Among Four-year Colleges in Rhode Island, According to

Top ranking reflects affordability, innovation, online programs at Bristol and Providence campuses

By Edward Fitzpatrick
Statue of the RWU's namesake, Roger Williams, on the Bristol campus.
Statue of the RWU's namesake, Roger Williams, on the Bristol campus.

BRISTOL, R.I. ­­– Roger Williams University ranks No. 1 among four-year colleges and universities in Rhode Island, according to a new analysis by ranked 1,383 four-year colleges and universities in the United States, using a 100-point scale based on 12 factors, including tuition, online courses and graduation rates. RWU topped the list in Rhode Island in part because of the significant strides it has made in making college more affordable and accessible, and the No. 1 ranking reflects the online degree programs and innovative initiatives launched by University College at RWU’s Providence campus.

“Roger Williams University is not only one of the best universities in Rhode Island but also one of the state’s top online colleges,” said. “It offers more than a dozen online degree programs as well as hybrid options that combine traditional class instruction with online courses.”

Named after Rhode Island founder Roger Williams, RWU continues to embrace his legacy of promoting freedom of conscience and social justice, the report said. RWU opened in 1956 as a junior college but now offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, and it is home to the state’s only law school, the report noted.

“Affordability is one reason Roger Williams University makes the list of top universities in Rhode Island,” said. “Since 2012, it has offered a tuition guarantee to its incoming undergraduates, and that was expanded to the RWU School of Law in 2014.”

“Based on this comprehensive form of assessment, we are very pleased to be recognized as the leader in the state for the innovative work being done on our traditional campus in Bristol and at our University College campus in Providence,” RWU Interim President Andy Workman said. “At RWU, we are working hard to build a truly 21st century university, and we will continue to push forward at a rapid pace to make that a reality.”

“The methodology considers affordability as well as the quality of the RWU experience provided by our talented faculty and staff,” RWU Vice President for Enrollment Management & Marketing Brian G. Williams said. “The analysis goes beyond list price and considers the average aid award and the significant investment we have made in scholarships and need-based financial aid for our students. It is always gratifying to be ranked highly in a survey that focuses on the experience and the outcomes we provide our students rather than overemphasizing the inputs (the characteristics and selectivity of the incoming class).”

For more information about the rankings, go to: