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How many students will attend RI’s colleges and universities this fall? Here’s what we know.

As college admissions for Fall 2024 come to a close, Rhode Island institutions are feeling the impact of the botched federal rollout of the .

Some schools still don’t have a handle on class sizes and acceptance rates, as applicants face headaches in figuring out their aid packages.

Changes from the Department of Education were intended to make the process smoother but obstacles, like the delayed application release causing a backlog, data being miscalculated and other technical issues, occurred.

Here’s what we know so far about the latest undergraduate admissions cycles at colleges and universities across the state. Keep in mind that not all schools have arrived at their application or commitment deadlines yet, so some numbers may change.

Johnson and Wales University's Providence campus.

Brown University

  • Acceptance rate: 5%
  • Undergraduate applications submitted: 48,898 submitted and 2,521 accepted
  • Takeaways: The acceptance rate has held close to 2023. About 2,400 fewer people applied this year compared to last, but Logan Powell, associate provost for enrollment and dean of undergraduate admission, called this year’s applicant pool the third largest in history.
    • This will be the first freshman class to enter Brown since the overturning of affirmative action. Brown has not yet shared data on the class’ diversity, but says it will in the Fall.
    • This will be the final class of undergraduate students to enter Brown while the school is need-aware. The class starting in Fall 2025 will be chosen on a need-blind basis.

Rhode Island School of Design

  • Acceptance rate: 14%
  • Undergraduate applications submitted: 7,082 submitted and 998 accepted
  • Takeaways: RISD saw about 500 fewer undergraduate applications this year compared to its 2023 cycle. That likely helped its acceptance rate rise nearly two percentage points.

Providence College

  • Acceptance rate: 49%
  • Undergraduate applications submitted: 12,519 submitted and 6,117 accepted
  • Takeaways: The size of the class starting the fall 2024 semester remains fluid, as PC’s commitment deadline is May 1. The college offered to share insights after that date.

Salve Regina University

  • Acceptance rate: 69%
  • Undergraduate applications submitted: Salve Regina’s website states it received 5,700 applications for its most recent first-year class, and has averaged a competitive 69% acceptance rate in recent years. However, it is unclear how many applications it received for the class starting this fall. The university did not answer requests for comment by deadline.

University of Rhode Island

  • Acceptance rate: About 70% in 2023
  • Undergraduate applications submitted: 26,800 and counting
  • Takeaways: URI spokesman Dave Lavallee said the university is “still in the application and FAFSA process,” therefore the latest acceptance rate isn’t yet available.
    • Despite those struggles, URI Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Dean Libutti said the university is “seeing a growth in applications across many colleges and majors, with engineering, nursing, pharmacy, business, and education as particularly popular choices this admissions season.”

New England Institute of Technology

  • Acceptance rate: About 73%
  • Undergraduate applications submitted: So far, 2,016 submitted and 1,437 accepted
  • Takeaways: NEIT conducts admissions on a rolling basis until each term starts, so these figures may change. For the Fall 2023 term, 1,839 students were accepted out of 2,529 applicants.
    • Like other schools, NEIT pointed to FAFSA problems. “We attribute the delay in applications and acceptances to the delayed rollout of the new FAFSA and are looking forward to the Fall 2024 term as we continue to remind prospective applicants of our extended time to apply to the university,” said NEIT Executive Vice President Scott Freund.

Rhode Island College

  • Acceptance rate: 84%
  • Undergraduate applications submitted: 5,156 submitted and 4,325 accepted
  • Takeaways: First-year applications rose more than 12% over last year, and acceptances increased by 14%. (That breaks down to more more than 550 additional applications and roughly 530 additional acceptances.) Transfer applications have also risen year-over-year by almost 45%.
    • “We attribute this trend to the college’s strategic efforts to expand recruitment and communication; the addition of new in-demand programs in sports management, cybersecurity, biotechnology, and A.I.; the success of our 21 NCAA Division III varsity athletic programs, including the women’s basketball team that has won four consecutive conference championships, including two undefeated seasons; investments the state has made in campus upgrades, with our lab sciences building currently undergoing a complete modernization; and, of course, the Hope Scholarship, a transformational opportunity for Rhode Island students to earn a high-quality four-year degree with the last two years tuition-free,” said Dean of Enrollment Management James Tweed.

Johnson & Wales University

  • Acceptance rate: About 85%
  • Undergraduate applications submitted: So far, 7,665 submitted and 6,405 accepted
  • Takeaways: JWU is still expecting 1,000 more applications before its July deadline, so these numbers are fluid and no firm acceptance rate is yet available for this year. University spokeswoman Jennifer McGee said that even with the FAFSA issues, “our current enrollment deposits are running even with last year.”
Culinary students at Johnson and Wales University's Providence campus.

Roger Williams University

  • Acceptance rate: 91%, according to
  • Undergraduate applications submitted: Unavailable due to FAFSA issues
  • Takeaways: RWU was unable to share data, spokeswoman Jill Pais said, because of “FAFSA delays and issues.”
    • “More than a month ago, we made the very intentional decision to communicate with prospective and admitted students that we will continue taking new applications, because we know how much the lack of financial aid information is affecting families,” Pais said. “In addition, we pushed our early deposit deadline back to June 1 this year, also due to the FAFSA delays.”

Community College of Rhode Island

  • Acceptance rate: Nearly 100%
  • Undergraduate applications submitted: CCRI spokesman Michael Parente said it was too early to share 2024 numbers as fall registration only opened this month.
  • Takeaways: “Our enrollment is strong, as we are in our seventh consecutive semester increase,” said  Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Amy Kacerik. “We anticipate this momentum will continue in the fall 2024 semester.”