The great state of Rhode Island is known for many things. There’s the picturesque coastline, the amazing seaside colonial towns, and the awesome seafood. The state is also known for its education, and today we’ll talk about the wealthiest boarding schools and colleges in the state. We’ll look at just how much money they each have, the facts that make them so great, and some of the alumni that once called the institutions home. Without further ado, here are the richest schools in Rhode Island.
Richest Schools in Rhode Island – Boarding Schools
There are many great boarding schools in Rhode Island that shape young minds and prepare them for their time in college. Some of these boarding schools are exceedingly wealthy. Here are a few:
St. George's School
P.O. Box 1910, Newport, RI 02840
According to Boarding School Review, St. George's School has an endowment of $185 million, so it is certainly one of the richest schools in Rhode Island. This is a fairly large boarding school with about 385 students from grades 9-12. The school is high caliber, which explains the slim 14% acceptance rate. The good news is that there’s only 11 students per class on average, so the kids get a great learning experience. The tuition at St. George's School is about $70,000 for boarding students and just over $48k for day students.
This is a private, Episcopal school that was founded back in 1896, and it’s been a fixture of education and pop culture over the years. The school was featured in the movie The Education of Charlie Banks, and it was mentioned in the book This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The school sits on 125 beautiful acres, and it has many state-of-the-art facilities. Many famous alumni have called the school home, including:
- Howard Dean – Former Presidential Candidate
- David Gilbert – Author
- Harry Werksman – Writer on Grey’s Anatomy
- Tucker Carlson – News Commendator
- Billy Bush – Access Hollywood Host
Portsmouth Abbey School
285 Cory's Lane, Portsmouth, RI 02871
The famous Portsmouth Abbey School is next on our list due to its endowment of $48 million. There’s currently about 350 students at the school in grades 9-12, and there’s a 31% acceptance rate. Tuition for the school is just under $72k for boarding students and just under $45k for day students. This sprawling school is laid over 525 acres, and there are many impressive buildings and sights to see across the vast landscape.
Portsmouth Abbey School was founded in 1926 by the Benedictine community, and it continues to be a coeducational school that focuses on Catholic values. There are several notable alumni from the school, including both Robert and Edward Kennedy. However, they did not graduate. Other alumni include:
- Charlie Day – Actor
- Sean Spicer – Former White House Press Secretary
- Thomas Mullen – Novelist
- John Kerr – Author
- John Gregory Dunne – Novelist
St. Andrew's School
63 Federal Road, Barrington, RI 02806
Our final boarding school is St. Andrew's School, which has an endowment of $22.2 million. Students who attend the school will pay about $67,300 if they attend classes and board there. Day students will pay $44,650. There are currently about 220 students at St. Andrew's School in grades 9-12. Class sizes have about 10 students each, so they get the best education possible.
There are other St. Andrew's Schools in the United States. This particular school, located in Barrington, RI, was founded in 1893. The school is located on 100 beautiful acres, and it’s a great place to send your young minds. Alumni of the school include:
- Michael Carter-Williams – NBA Player
- Demetris Nichols – NBA PLayer
- Andrew Robinson – Actor
- Cole Swider – NBA Player
Richest Schools in Rhode Island – Colleges and Universities
Once your kids have graduated from one of the wealthiest boarding schools in the state, they can move onto the rich colleges. If you can afford them, then these universities are well worth the money, and they could set your kids up for long-term success.
One Prospect Street Providence, RI 02912
Brown University is by far the wealthiest of the schools in Rhode Island due to an endowment of $4.3 billion. Brown has about 10,696 students. Over 7,000 of them are in the undergraduate programs, and over 3,000 are in the graduate programs. Students hoping to attend the university will need to pay close to $86,000 per year for classes, room, and board before financial aid. You’ve likely heard about this Ivy League school, and that’s part of the reason why it’s so expensive.
This is a private, not-for-profit school that offers degree programs going up to the doctorate level. The school was founded back in 1764, and back then, it was referred to as the “The College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” Brown is the 7th oldest college in the country. Although it’s old, it has also always been ahead of the curve. It was the first school to allow students from any religion. The school is also home to the oldest math program in the U.S. and the oldest engineering program in the Ivy League.
Brown is huge. It’s located on 143 acres, and the main campus has 235 buildings. Brown is so large that it’s the largest institutional landowner in Providence. There are many pieces of famous architecture on the campus, including the Van Wickle Gates, John Hay Library, Haffenreffer Museum, and the Annmary Brown Memorial. In addition to the academics, Brown also has a famous athletics program, and they often compete in the NCAA tournaments.
As you may imagine, there’s a huge list of notable alumni who have attended Brown, including:
- Zachariah Allen – Inventor of the steam engine automatic cut-off valve
- Rebecca Moore – Director of Google Earth
- Bob Wallace – One of the First Microsoft Employees
- Byron K. Lichtenberg – Astronaut
- Lisa Loeb – Singer
- Elvis Perkins – Singer
- Duncan Sheik – Singer
- John Krasinski – Actor
- Emma Watson – Actress
- Julie Bowen – Actress
- Joe Paterno – Penn State Head Coach
Rhode Island School of Design
2 College St Providence, RI 02903
With an endowment of $349,011,544, we have the Rhode Island School of Design. It’s a decent sized school with about 2,576 students in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Students who enroll will pay about $80,000 for tuition in 2023. This is a very distinguished private university that focuses on art and design. It was founded back in 1877 by Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf because she wanted women to have a bigger role in design work.
Students who attend RISD can choose from different bachelor and master degree programs. One of the reasons the college is so rich is likely because it’s affiliated with Brown University, and both schools share many of the same resources. The school has always been coeducational, even when it first opened. There were 43 students, and while most of them were women, there were some men. The school made headlines when there were many student protests of the Vietnam War. When COVID-19 hit, the school closed completely until the epidemic passed. Notable alumni of RISD include:
- Brian Chesky – CEO of Airbnb
- David Hanson – CEO of Hanson Robotics
- Jonathan L. Foote – Architect
- Matt Brinkman – Artist
- Ara Peterson – Artist
1 Cunningham Square Providence, RI 02918
Next on our list of the richest schools in Rhode Island is Providence College with an endowment of $231,720,254. This is a larger school than some of the others with about 4,671 total students, and they’ll pay about $78,083 for tuition in 2023. This is a private Catholic university that was founded in 1917 by the local diocese of the Dominican Order. The school offers a plethora of undergraduate and graduate programs. Regardless of which program they choose, the school has a big focus on the Development of Western Civilization, so kids will need to take at least 16 credits of that subject.
The school is also famous for its athletics program. Their football and hockey teams do quite well and compete in the NCAA championship. The school has expanded multiple times over the years, and today, it sits on about 105 acres. The campus is gated, and the campus is technically located in a residential urban neighborhood located near downtown Providence. There are many bright minds that graduated from Providence College, including:
- Richard M Daly – Former Six-term Mayor of Chicago
- Chris Dodd – Former U.S. Senator
- John O'Hurley – Actor
- Janeane Garofalo – Comedian
- Patrick J. Kennedy – Former U.S. Representative
New England Institute of Technology
One New England Tech Boulevard East Greenwich, RI 02818
Then we have the New England Institute of Technology, which pulls in an endowment of $224,425,022. It’s a private university with about 2,000 students who pay about $55,000 in tuition before financial aid. The school was founded and established in 1940. Interestingly, the current president of the university, Richard I. Gouse has had that position since 1971.
The campus has many notable buildings, including the main building, which is 265,000 square feet and houses classes, tech labs, medical suites, and more. This is not the oldest college in Rhode Island, but it’s important for young bright minds that have an interest in technology.
Johnson & Wales University-Providence
8 Abbott Park Place Providence, RI 02903
With an endowment just north of $200,000,000, we have the Johnson & Wales University that’s located in Providence. It’s a fairly large school of about 5,000 students who pay about $63k yearly for tuition. The school was founded in 1914 as a business school, but over time, it turned into a private university that focuses on many different degree programs. The founders, Gertrude I. Johnson and Mary T. Wales met when they were students at Pennsylvania State Normal School. After they graduated, they decided to start their own business school.
When the school opened, it had only one student and a typewriter. However, they expanded when they started welcoming in soldiers who were returning from World War II and needed to learn a skill so they could find jobs. Back then, both men and women were admitted, and they taught typing, shorthand, math, and bookkeeping, among other subjects of the time. The school has grown by leaps and bounds since then, and they now have an abundance of Greek life, a flourishing athletics program, and numerous campuses around the country. Notable alumni of the school include:
- Graham Elliot Bowles – Masterchef Judge
- Maria Kanellis – Pro Wrestler
- Aaron Sanchez – Masterchef Judge
- Jim Renner – Pro Golfer
- Ben Silverman – Pro Golfer
1150 Douglas Pike Smithfield, RI 02917
With an endowment of $182,430,000, Bryant University is next on our list of the richest schools in Rhode Island. It’s a medium-sized school with about 3,441 students and a cost of just over $63,000 per year. This is a private university that is made up of two colleges: the College of Business and College of Arts and Sciences. The school was founded in 1863 as an institution that mostly taught bookkeeping. Over the years, the campus grew and changed locations, and it became the major school it is today.
There’s some cool architecture at Bryant University, including the Bryant Archway and the huge Unistructure that contains nearly all of the classrooms. The school has a robust athletics program, and the teams compete in the NCAA competitions. There are many distinguished alumni of Bryant University, including:
- Nicholas Colasanto – Actor
- Mikayla Nogueira – Social Media Influencer
- James Karinchak – MLB Pitcher
- Benjamin Schulte – Guamanian swimmer
Salve Regina University
100 Ochre Point Avenue Newport, RI 02840
Salve Regina University has an endowment of $63,213,000, and a tuition cost of about $70,623k per year. There are currently around 2,828 students enrolled. This is a private Roman Catholic university that was founded in 1934 by the Sisters of Mercy. The college is huge and sits on about 80 acres, and it has 21 historical structures on the premises.
This is a highly esteemed school that is often in the discussion when it comes to the top-tier colleges in the nation. It was ranked as one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in 2018 and ranked 28th of the regional universities in that part of the country, as of the time of this writing. Some of the buildings on this campus will blow you away. If you ever visit, check out the McKillop Library, Our Lady of Mercy Chapel, and Gerety Hall. A select list of the alumni from Salve Regina University includes:
- Betty Hutton – Actress
- Arlene Violet – Rhode Island attorney general
- Kristin Hersh – Musician
Roger Williams University
One Old Ferry Road Bristol, RI 02809
Finally, we have Roger Williams University, which has an endowment of $62,509,315. This is a medium-sized school of about 2,500 students, and they’ll pay about $60,000 per year to attend the university before financial aid. The school opened its doors fairly recently in 1956, and it’s named after Roger Williams, who was one of the cofounders of the colony that eventually became Rhode Island. There are many great degree programs at the university, including those for marine biology, and historic preservation. There’s also a robust athletics program. A handful of alumni from the school include:
- Adam Braver – Writer
- Chris Sparling – Director
- Jason Mattera – Blogger
- Joe Polisena, Former Member of the Rhode Island State Senate
That’s your list of the richest schools in Rhode Island in all of their glory. These are great boarding schools and colleges that can teach your kids about a variety of subjects. They are very wealthy, but they use those resources to improve the youth. Consider having your kids apply if they’re interested in the programs they offer.
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