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  • Eric Stutman

URI: Great campus and facilities. Is it right for your student?

Date of visit November 2017

Reviewer Eric Stutman, Top Choice College Consulting

School visited U. Rhode Island, Kingston, RI

Vital stats

14,000 undergrads, 44% male, 16:1 student:faculty ratio.

Public, suburban/rural, founded in 1892. 44% of students from outside Rhode Island.

82% freshman retention rate.

59% 6-year graduation rate.

77% acceptance rate. 30-40% acceptance rate for Nursing program.

US News ranked #156 in national universities.

Cost of attendance: $45,000 (out of state). 25% get merit aid.

Getting there

Kingston is about an hour and a half drive from Boston, and about a 25 minute drive from Providence, RI.

Surrounding area

Kingston has no real town center. A few restaurants are across the street from the university. Narraganset beaches are about ten minutes away.


1200 acre campus, with beautiful gray stone buildings surrounding the main quad. Great campus layout with academic buildings in one third, dorms and frats in the next third, and athletic facilities in the third furthest down the gentle slope. Tallest building is 8 stories. New Engineering buildings are underway. Business school, science center were new and impressive.


95% of students live on campus as freshmen (not required). Most rooms are triples or suites.


Eight colleges including engineering, nursing, and pharmacy.


2 main cafeterias. Both looked recently remodeled, with a nice station-based circle and separate grill. Both are easily accessible from any dorm and classroom.


One seen on the tour. Beautiful glass-walled study areas full of students.

Greek life

Ten frats and ten sororities comprises about 20% of the student population.


Division 1 sports. Basketball is most popular as is football. Hockey is a club sport, but still popular.


No affiliation.

Getting in

About 77% overall acceptance rate. Students are automatically considered for the honors college and merit scholarships.

Eric's opinion, not fact

I was very impressed with the campus layout, stone architecture, food, libraries, and new facilities. Prettier than Umass and Uconn, I found URI somewhat similar to UNH since it has a pretty campus, is in a small town, and near beaches. The high acceptance rate makes it a good choice for a likely (aka safety) school for Massachusetts (New England) students who want a state school experience close to home, especially those interested in Business, Engineering, Nursing, or Pharmay. Unfortunately, the freshmen retention and graduation rates are low (similar to U Maine), which reflects poorly on the student body and detracts from my opinion of the school.

Listed from best to worst, for New England State school ranking (US news), retention and grad rates is as follows: UConn, UMass, UVM, UNH, URI, and UMaine.

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