Updated: Oct 18
Rhode Island College President Jack Warner and Gov. Dan McKee held a ceremonial bill signing of the Hope Scholarship on Oct. 11 in front of the Murray Center. State leaders, RIC students and professors gathered to celebrate the launch of this legislation. Warner began the momentous event by highlighting the impact of the Hope Scholarship. This scholarship will allow eligible students to earn a bachelor's degree for under $25,000. Warner quoted many scholarship recipients who called the aid a life-changing and impactful game-changer.
Warner handed the microphone to Ty Sun, a junior studying computer science and minoring in cyber security, who is involved in many extra-curricular activities. McKee described Sun as the epitome of a RIC student who rose to the occasion. Sun is grateful for this scholarship to lift the financial burden from his family.
McKee states, "The plans we have for RIC, those days of being a secret, are over. People will know RIC is where you will go for an education." He also called the Hope Scholarship a win for RIC students, RI families, and the economy. He describes the scholarship as a critical tool for helping more students afford a 4-year degree. Speaker of the RI House of Representatives Joe Shekarchi states that 66% of jobs require a post-high school education, yet 44% of youth lack that higher education. Highly educated Rhode Islanders are necessary to build the state's economy and general welfare.
RI Chair of the House Education Committee and Member of the RI House of Representatives Joseph McNamara explains that with the excellent opportunity for RIC students, they must uphold their end of the bargain-finish the four-year degree, seek employment in RI after graduating and become involved in state government. This bill will increase graduation rates and help boost the economy.
McKee explained the bill was initiated as a team effort to raise income, health and fitness and education levels to place our citizens on par with Massachusetts. Choosing legislation is difficult because many things are important to Rhode Islanders. Many people fought for this bill to be passed, looking out for the students of this state.
The pilot program will end with the 2026 graduating class unless the bill is extended or codified into state law.
Hope Scholarship eligibility:
Enroll at RIC as a first-time freshman.
Must be a full-time student.
Complete the FAFSA.
Maintain a 2.5 GPA.
Stay on track to graduate in four years.
Get your last two years tuition-free!
If you received two years tuition-free at CCRI, you are not eligible for the Hope Scholarship.
Must commit to live, work, or continue their education in Rhode Island.
Video via Anchor TV on Youtube