Oct 18, 2018 Alyssa Pascarella

RI College Planning Resource Rundown

Approximately 20 million students choose to attend a post-secondary institution every year.  Many students and their families struggle with where to start in the college planning process. Figuring out which schools might be a good fit, which career path to take, and how to pay for college are just a few of the many things that worry families. Rhode Island might be a small state, but it has a large amount of free resources available to help Rhode Islander's plan for college.


School Counselors

Rhode Island school counselors are a great resource for students and their families when it comes to planning for college. School counselors can sometimes be a student's best asset during the college planning process, because the counselor interacts with the student on a regular basis and has a better understanding of the student as a whole. Being comfortable with the student's school counselor is important because the counselor will likely be writing one of the student's letters of recommendation for college and they have great connections with many colleges, universities, and other post-secondary options.

CollegeBound Saver

CollegeBound Saver is a Section 529 plan offered by the Office of Rhode Island General Treasurer. CollegeBound Saver is designed to help individuals and families save for college in a tax-advantaged way and offers valuable advantages including tax-deferred growth, generous contribution limits, attractive investment options, and professional investment management. When you enroll in CollegeBound Saver, you choose to invest in one or more of the available investment options, including an Age-Based Portfolio, the Target Risk Portfolios, and eight Individual Portfolios, based upon your investing preferences and risk tolerance. All of the contributions made to your account grow tax-deferred and the distributions are free from federal and Rhode Island state taxes if used for qualified higher education expenses.

RISLA College Planning Center

The college planning experts at the RISLA College Planning Center educate families on how to obtain financial aid, walk students through the college planning process, provide tools that can help families make informed and responsible borrowing choices for college, and aid students in jump-starting their careers. Book a one-on-one college planning appointment at one of our two locations or attend an in-person financial aid event near you!

College Advising Corps

The College Advising Corps focuses on college enrollment and completion among low-income, first-generation college, and underrepresented students high school students by delivering personalized, knowledgeable guidance on college admission, financial aid, and enrollment. The College Advising Corps has two innovative program models: in-school and virtual.

The in-school model places well-trained, recent college graduates from one of our partner universities as full-time college advisers in high schools across the nation. Advisers work to foster a college-going culture within the schools they serve, which is one of the best predictors of whether students will pursue higher education.

The virtual model leverages technology to connect well-trained, recent college graduates with students everywhere in the nation that technology can reach. Our virtual advisers — called eAdvisers — provide remote support to high-achieving low- and moderate-income students through College Advising Corps’ participation in CollegePoint, an America Achieves and Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative.

College Crusade

College Crusade of Rhode Island is a college-readiness and scholarship program for 4,200 middle school and high school students in low-income urban school districts who attend public and public charter schools in Providence, Cranston, Pawtucket, Central Falls, Woonsocket, and West Warwick. From the time they join through their early years of college, Crusaders experience the steady, nurturing presence of caring adults and participate year-round in programs that focus on academic enrichment, social and personal development, career awareness and exploration, and preparation for college. Crusaders who attend colleges in Rhode Island also benefit from postsecondary transition and success services.


RIScholarships is a database available to RI students to help find scholarships to help pay for college. Students can either go online or download the app to register and start searching through hundreds of local scholarships. Local scholarships are not as competitive as national scholarships so you have a better chance at getting free money for college which can help pay for books and living expenses. Students are encouraged to apply to as many scholarships as they can to help cover the cost of college.

RI Office of Postsecondary Commissioner

The RIOPC serves as the definitive resource for information on and the interpretation of Council policy for public higher education and the postsecondary institutions in Rhode Island that are under the authority of the Council on Postsecondary Education (the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and the Community College of Rhode Island). The Office looks for shared opportunities to advance the objectives of postsecondary education with the public and independent institutions. The OPC works closely with the presidents of the state higher education institutions to determine the benefits or disadvantages of proposed new programs, departments, division, courses of study within the scope and role adopted by the Council on Postsecondary Education and in developing tables of organization. 

College Fairs

Colleges fairs are a great way to learn about a lot of campus cultures in a brief period of time, so they are definitely worth your time in the early stages of college planning. It's important for students to identify schools that are good matches both academically and financially. College fairs can help undecided students determine if college is a path they can see in their future. Students will have the chance to learn about different kinds of programs offered at colleges and the financial aid that is available to help them pay for college. 

Fairs in RI:

Annual College Fair at McCoy Stadium every September
Providence National College Fair at RI Convention center
RI Regional College Fair at Johnson & Wales

The RISLA College Planning Center is ready to assist students and families navigate the college process. Book an appointment with us online.

Book Free Appointment Now

Published by Alyssa Pascarella October 18, 2018