The great Greek playwright Aeschylus, who influenced everyone from Aristophanes to Robert F. Kennedy, once said, “From a small seed, a mighty trunk may grow.” It is yet another reminder not to judge things on their size or outward appearance, because, after all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Perhaps no state proves Aeschylus right more than Rhode Island, the smallest state by area in the United States.
Despite its small size, Rhode Island boasts several nationally respected universities, such as Roger Williams University and the University of Rhode Island, as well as the Ivy League school of Brown University. Continuing in the tradition of its neighboring states, the Ocean State draws students from all over the country looking for a quality education. Because of this, it is vital for native Rhode Islanders to seek any possible edge to compete with their out of state counterparts when it comes to higher learning. Here are just a few scholarships for students in Rhode Island to pursue:
If you’re a fan of the first amendment, you may have Roger Williams, in part, to thank. Williams was the founder of Rhode Island, an early Puritan settler, was one of the first figures in the new world to propose a separation of church and state and an early advocate for free speech. He died in Providence, Rhode Island in 1683, and many of the city’s buildings and parks honor his name. The most noteworthy of his namesakes, however, is the university located in the heart of Bristol, a seaside town in the northeast of the state.
The school consistently ranks among the best in Rhode Island for various reasons, with its merit scholarship program playing a large role. RWU doles out thousands of dollars a year to students from various walks of life, many from within the state. The school offers scholarships specific to students from regions of the Ocean State, including Bristol, Providence, Mount Hope, and Portsmouth. Depending on your major or academic success, you could earn up to a full ride! Check out their website for a full list of financial offers.
Deadline: File the FAFSA
The Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority, or RIHEAA, established itself nearly forty years ago with the goal of assuring all Rhode Islanders that if they work hard and stay in school, they can receive a quality education regardless of their personal economic backdrop. To help accomplish this goal, the Rhode Island Academic Promise Scholarship offers qualifying students up to $2,500 over four academic years, for a grand total of $10,000.
In order to apply, students must be eligible for financial aid, determined by filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application, and complete either the SAT or ACT, which will demonstrate their academic progress to the foundation. The award is given out based on need, meaning that those who do not need to receive the entire prize in order to pay their tuition will receive a little less, helping others in the process. Additionally, if students seek an additional fifth year of study, required by some civic majors, they can fill out a form to apply for another year of aid.
The Rhode Island Foundation, organized in 1916, serves as a community leadership effort to improve aspects of the state. Currently in the midst of their centennial, the RIF’s flagship scholarship program offers well over one hundred scholarships for Rhode Island students of various walks of life, interests, and regions. Several of the awards, such as the Richard N. Carr Memorial Scholarship (Bishop Hendricken High School) and the Helen E. B. Bromley Scholarship (Attleboro High School) are limited to high-achieving graduates of a particular high school. Others, such as the Bannister Scholarship for textile technology majors at UMass Dartmouth, are even more specific. For a quick gloss, many of the awards have monetary rewards in the range of $1,000-$10,000 and applications are, very generally, due in the springtime.
And remember, each university/college offers its own scholarship for their students, so make sure you look for those as well!