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Touring the "other" college in Providence

January 26, 2018

Yes, Brown University is in Providence, but so is Providence College. Here are my findings after a recent visit:


Date of visit January 2018

Reviewer Eric Stutman, Top Choice College Consulting


School visited Providence College, Providence, RI


Vital stats

4,000 undergrads, 47% male, 12:1 student:faculty ratio. Only 15% from Rhode Island. 52% from rest of New England states.

Private, urban, founded in 1917. ??% of students from outside Rhode Island.

91% freshman retention rate.

85% 6-year graduation rate.

57% acceptance rate.

US News ranked #1 in regional universities north.

Cost of attendance: $65,000. 19% get merit aid.


Getting there

Providence has an airport about 20 minutes drive from PC. Providence is about an hour drive from Boston.


Surrounding area

Providence is a small city, with some good restaurants. Brown University is about 10 minutes drive from PC. The neighborhood around PC is pretty run down and looks somewhat sketchy.



105 acre campus, well kept with nice architecture and green space all around. Business school was new for 2017. New science center new in 2018.



Most students live on campus; 3 years required. Boys usually get triples or quad rooms as freshmen; girls mostly doubles or triples. Nice dorms with good size rooms.



49 majors, all liberal arts related including business and theatre. Most popular majors are business (35%), education, and medicine-related.



1 main cafeteria where the food is considered “decent”. 1 main other dining location with faux food court setup where food is considered good. A starbucks and dunkin on campus too. There is a sports bar with beer and alcohol on campus. All students are welcome, but only those over 21 can drink alcohol.



Some 70's cement, but nice wood additions and overall nice look.


Greek life




Division 1 sports. Basketball, soccer and hockey are most popular. Lots of school spirit for a small school; the smallest in the Big East division.



Roman Catholic, run by the Dominican Friars. Some 40 Friars are seen on campus and teach some classes.


Getting in

About 57% overall acceptance rate. Used to compete with Loyola MD and Fairfield, but now a lot of crossover with Villanova, Holy Cross and Boston College as academics improve. ED plan, new for 2017, accounted for 1/3 of the entering class.


Eric's opinion, not fact

Driving to and from campus leave a bad impression because of the surrounding neighborhoods. The campus itself is nicely set up, with nice architecture, and a comfortable amount of green between buildings. Fitness facility is 10 years old and looks new. All students I met talked about a strong sense of community and a lot of school spirit. They felt is was not too big or too small. Seems like a good option for students from Massachusetts who want a catholic school, but BC may be out of reach, and Fairfield not challenging enough.





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