Study: RI among least affordable states for college

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) —  A new study shows Rhode Island is one of the least affordable states in the nation for high education.

The Ocean State is ranked 48th least affordable – because there are a lot of private universities and not many public options.

The authors of the study stated, “Rhode Island’s dismal showing on the national college affordability rankings is fueled by deep poverty and a high concentration of students who attend the most expensive higher education institutions in the state.”

Cristiana Quinn, an independent college admission advisor, said if local students want to stay in state and live on campus, they have more private than public options.

“When you first look at the ranking it is shocking. But then when you consider the fact that we’re a small state with a high number of private institutions, with fairly high tuition rates, it’s not that surprising,” she said.

“We have a small number of public universities to begin with in RI – URI, RIC and CCRI. Among those three, URI is really the only residential option.”

According to the study, the average family in Rhode Island would spend 15% of their income on a public, two-year education, 19% of their income on a public, four-year education, or 60% of their income on a private, four-year education.

Quinn said the key is to begin saving for college very early.

In a statement to Eyewitness News, Governor Gina Raimondo’s office said:

“Reports like this confirm that we have a lot more work to do – 48 out of 50 in terms of affordability is completely unacceptable.

This is why the budget I’ve submitted before the General Assembly freezes tuition at URI, RIC and CCRI – and makes record investments in higher education with more than $20 million in new state funding.”

The State of Massachusetts ranked 43rd on the college affordability list.

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