Governor McKee Announces Budget Amendment to Extend Hope Scholarship at Rhode Island College Program provides last-dollar tuition support to in-state students at RIC for junior and senior years  


PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee today filed a budget amendment to extend Rhode Island College’s (RIC) Hope Scholarship program for an additional two years through July 1, 2030. Proposed by Governor McKee and approved by the General Assembly in 2023, the Hope Scholarship provides last-dollar tuition support to RIC in-state students for their junior and senior years.

“Supporting students and giving them the financial flexibility to pursue higher education and career pathways is at the core of Hope Scholarship,” said Governor Dan McKee. “I’m proud to extend this opportunity for Rhode Island College students to build a bright future right here in the Ocean State.”
 
"The Hope Scholarship is already making a tremendous impact for the 243 students who are able to continue their education this year tuition-free. It empowers them to focus exclusively on their academic success, without the stress or distractions of student loans or working too many hours,” said Dr. Jack Warner, president of RIC. “The proposed extension of this transformative program will enable the state to accrue a real return on investment, as the education level of our workforce increases, and the economic mobility of our graduates rises."
 
The Hope Scholarship launched in 2023 as a pilot program. It is open to in-state juniors and seniors at RIC who maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher and are on track to graduate or earn an approved certificate in a total of four years. Without the Governor’s budget amendment, the pilot program is slated to end with the final cohort graduating high school in May 2025.

As of April 2024, 243 RIC juniors and seniors have benefitted from the scholarship in the 2023-2024 academic year, which has saved an estimated $2,149,595.50 in tuition and fees during that span.

“That a college education leads to a better quality of life and a wider variety of career opportunities is unquestionable,” said Shannon Gilkey, Ed.D., Rhode Island Postsecondary Commissioner. “This is another example how the state of Rhode Island, led by the McKee administration, continues to prioritize and address the affordability of higher education facing Rhode Islanders and a belief that any Rhode Islander should have the ability to earn a college degree.”  

The Hope Scholarship is designed to address affordability issues and increase the percentage of students who earn their bachelor’s degree. This is beneficial for each student receiving a degree as it promises greater lifelong earnings, better overall health, and increased civic engagement. It is also a benefit to the state as a whole, as RIC is one of the leading producers of nurses, teachers, and social workers in Rhode Island.

 

 

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