2021 Best Colleges in Rhode Island Badge

2021 Best Colleges in Rhode Island by Salary Score

By the GradReports team | Updated 3/1/2021

We ranked colleges in Rhode Island based on their Salary Scores. A high Salary Score means that alumni at a particular school may earn higher salaries than graduates of other schools within the same major. To calculate a school's bachelor's degree Salary Score, we took median alumni salaries in the first year after graduation for each program and compared them to salary data for the same programs at other colleges and universities. Seven of the schools below have a higher Salary Score than the median for all U.S. colleges, and Rhode Island is ranked #3 in our Top Five States for Bachelor’s Degree Salaries list. While future salary may not be the primary factor in every student's college decision, Salary Score is one meaningful metric that students can use alongside other considerations that matter to them.

To be considered for our state rankings, schools must offer and provide data for at least 8 bachelor's programs. This list includes all eligible schools in Rhode Island. You can click on a school's name to view individual program scores. Read our methodology to learn more about how schools were ranked.

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Salary Scores based on data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Salary Score
#1 #1 Smithfield Smithfield $43,973 88.22
#2 #2 Providence Providence $55,466 86.30
#3 #3 Providence Providence $50,528 83.65
#4 #4 Bristol Bristol $34,522 72.57
#5 #5 Newport Newport $40,150 63.19
#6 #6 Kingston Kingston $14,138 60.87
#7 #7 Providence Providence $8,929 50.60
#8 #8 Providence Providence $32,441 48.60

2021 Best Colleges in Rhode Island Highlights

#1
Smithfield
Salary Score 88.22
Annual Tuition $43,973
Graduation Rate 80%

More than half of the bachelor’s programs at Bryant University have a Salary Score above 80. The communication and media studies field tops the list with a score of 100. Alumni from this program also earn the highest median salary at $70,180. Degrees in business and related fields also rank high; the business administration, management, and operations program scores a 93, while the fields of accounting, international business, and marketing all score a 92.

School Overview

Bryant University is a small, private, non-profit school located in Smithfield, Rhode Island, a suburban town about fifteen minutes from the capital of Providence. First-year students will take part in the university’s 13-credit Gateway program, which aims to teach them the skills they'll need to succeed in college and beyond. During the Gateway experience, they'll participate in the week-long Innovation Design Experience for All ((IDEA) program, where they'll work in groups to practice entrepreneurial skills. Students at Bryant receive an interdisciplinary education, as they are required to complete both a major and a minor; one must be in business while the other must be in the humanities.

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#2
Providence
Salary Score 86.30
Annual Tuition $55,466
Graduation Rate 95%

Four bachelor’s fields at Brown University have a Salary School of 100: applied mathematics, computer science, entrepreneurial and small business operations, and psychology. Graduates of the computer science program report a median salary of $135,280, the highest of any of the programs at Brown. Other bachelor's programs that rank high are economics (94), engineering (93), and history (93).

School Overview

Brown University is a medium-sized, private, not-for-profit university located in Providence, Rhode Island. The school is fully committed to meeting the demonstrated need of its students through its Brown Promise initiative. Through this program, accepted students will have all of their financial needs met through grants and scholarships. They will not have to take on any loans. The university utilizes an Open Curriculum, which allows students to create their own plan of study from the start, rather than following a predetermined set of required courses.

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#3
Providence
Salary Score 83.65
Annual Tuition $50,528
Graduation Rate 86%

The Salary Scores at Providence College are, on average, higher than those at colleges with similar programs. Of the twenty undergraduate programs offered, over half have a score of 80 or above, and only three programs score below 60. High-scoring programs include liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities (98), psychology (95), accounting and related services (96), and biology (94). The computer science program has the highest median annual salary at $73,770. Accounting students report the second-highest median salary, at $62,710.

School Overview

Providence College is a small, private, Catholic school located in Providence, Rhode Island. Most of the faculty and student body identify themselves as Catholic, though students of every faith are welcome. All students are required to take classes in philosophy and theology, and mass is held every Sunday at the university chapel. Providence offers a few different merit and need-based scholarships. Its Multicultural Scholarship program provides awards to students from diverse backgrounds. These scholars receive financial assistance as well as access to various services designed to help them through their college experience.

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