KINGSTON, RI – August 20, 2015 — The University of Rhode Island is preparing to welcome its incoming class of about 3,630 new students, including 3,130 first-year students and 500 who have transferred. These students will be attending what the international website, “Best Value Schools,” has recently named the 3rd “Most Beautiful Coastal College Campus” in the nation, a moniker consistent with the University’s hallmark brand statement “Study in a small, beautiful place with some of the biggest thinkers in the world.”
When combined with returning students, the University will be the home away from home for more than 16,795 undergraduate and graduate students. Students will start to move onto campus Saturday, Sept. 5 and classes begin on Wednesday, Sept. 9.
Consistent with the University’s Transformational Goals, the number of undergraduates who self-identify as being from diverse backgrounds continues to increase, with the incoming class at about 23 percent and all undergraduates at about 19 percent.
There may be some healthy laughter on campus this fall as the interdisciplinary Honors Colloquium examines “The Power of Humor.” Starting Tuesday, Sept. 22, the weekly series will feature writers, cartoonists, humorists, clowns, neuroscientists and all-around funny folks talking about the joy, benefits and importance of humor in life. The series will begin with a talk by Dr. Patch Adams, founder of the Gesundheit Institute for Holistic Medicine and continue weekly through Dec. 8. Free and open to the public, the talks will be held in Edwards Hall.
Here’s a preview of enrollment and a few of the activities, construction highlights and more that will be happening this fall.
About the Students*
• The University’s Office of Undergraduate Admission received and reviewed a record 21,257 applications for new freshmen (329 more than last year). In addition, more than 1,375 applications were considered for students wishing to transfer to the University.
• The University anticipates enrolling 3,630 new students, including 3,130 freshmen and 500 transfer students. Consistent with trends nationwide, 57 percent of these new students are women and 43 percent are men.
• This is also the most diverse class, with 23 percent of freshmen and transfers self-identifying as students of color compared with 21 percent last year.
• Since 2009, the number of students who identify themselves as people of color has increased from 12.9 percent to 18.6 percent in 2014. At the same time, the number of international students has increased from 14.4 percent to 22 percent.
• About 48 percent of the new students are from Rhode Island and 52 percent are from out of state or foreign countries. About 56 percent of the total student body is from Rhode Island.
• After Rhode Island, the top states represented in the freshman class are respectively, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey. Combined, the incoming freshman class and transfers represent 31 U.S states and 15 nations.
• URI will award $82 million in financial aid. An estimated 75 percent of undergraduate students are expected to receive financial aid and institutional support.
• Admitted student profile for 2015 freshmen shows overall score increases: Average GPA 3.46; SAT total 1,110 (Critical Reading and Math); ACT score 24.
• There are 5,911 undergraduate students, including 2,875 freshmen assigned to one of the University’s 24 on-campus residence halls, suites and apartments. This is about 200 more than the fall of 2014.
• This year, about 500 more returning students applied to live on campus compared to the previous year.
• An additional 645 students will live in the 17 sororities, fraternities and specialty houses, the International Engineering Program houses and the Women’s Center.
• Overall, the University expects more than 13,764 undergraduates and 2,213 part- and full-time graduate students at URI this year*.
• Top 10 majors in terms of undergraduate enrollment last fall are: Nursing (848), Kinesiology (679), Communication Studies (597), Psychology (580), Biological Sciences (500), Human Development & Family Studies (423), Mechanical Engineering (408), Accounting (399), Applied Sociology (306), and Computer Science (305). The incoming class showed the greatest interest in business, engineering, nursing and kinesiology.
** Please note: Student enrollment information is projected as of August 2015. Final reporting numbers will be available after Oct. 15, 2015, the federal census date for college enrollments.
• Move-In Days, Sept. 5-7: To provide the best service to incoming students, the freshman class will move in on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 5-6 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. At that time, a resident assistant will escort each student to his or her room. As part of the early move-in process, about 1,200 residents arrive during the week before to participate in organization trainings, club events, etc.
• Welcome Home: A series of Welcome Week activities for new and returning students include First Night at the Memorial Union on Sunday, Sept. 6, a Drive-In Movie at Meade Stadium on Sept. 7, a performance by the Roastmaster General, Jeff Ross on Sept. 8, an opening dance party on Sept. 11 and a game of dodgeball with URI Police on Sept. 13.
• Meet Community, Equity & Diversity, Sept. 9: The entire Office of Community, Equity and Diversity (CED) will hold many doors open to welcome community members. From 10 a.m. to noon, the Women’s Center on Upper College Road, the Multicultural Center on Lower College Road and the CED office in Green Hall will welcome all visitors. Then from 3-5 p.m., the new Gender & Sexuality Center will hold a “Big Gay Picnic”.
• Common Reading: To introduce first-year students to a campus culture focused on academic engagement and learning, URI’s Summer Common Reading project selected the book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Ph.D. The author explains why it’s not just abilities and talent that bring success—but having the right mindset to reach personal and professional goals.
• Football Home Kickoff, Sept. 19: With head coach Jim Fleming the 2015 season kicks off at Syracuse on Sept. 4, followed by Albany, Sept. 6.The first home game for the Rams is Sept. 19 against Harvard. To order tickets for the upcoming season, call the Ryan Center Box Office at 401.874.RAMS (401.874.7267).
• Honors Colloquium, Sept. 22: In this semester-long series, national, and international speakers will address “The Power of Humor.” The colloquium begins with a talk by Dr. Patch Adams, founder of the Gesundheit Institute for Holistic Medicine. He is a writer, clown and activist and was portrayed by the late Robin Williams in the movie, “Patch Adams.” The lectures will be held on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. from Sept. 22 through Dec. 8 in Edwards Auditorium on the Kingston campus. All talks are free and open to the public and some will be streamed online. Find more information at Honors Colloquium.
• Annual Diversity Week, Sept. 25 through Oct. 3: Events will be held to celebrate the importance of diversity and identity in higher education, the workplace, the community and the world. The week includes dozens of workshops, events, and seminars. Most events are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule visit Annual Diversity Week.
• On Stage, Oct. 15 through 25: URI Theatre begins its fall season with award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl’s spirited and stimulating comedy “In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)”. Nominated for the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play and selected as a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, this play provides a sometimes hilarious contemporary take on a comedy of manners set in the Victorian era. View details at URI Theatre.
• Homecoming 2015, Oct. 16-18: Homecoming on the Kingston Campus includes reunions, college and department-based gatherings, music, food, entertainment and more. The URI vs. University of Richmond game starts at noon on Saturday, Oct. 17 at Meade Stadium.
• Annual Distinguished Achievement Awards, Oct. 17: URI’s tenth annual event at which President David M. Dooley, Provost Donald H. DeHayes, and the college deans honor alumni and others who personify URI’s tradition of excellence in achievement, leadership and service. The event is a formal celebration to launch Homecoming weekend.
• Open House, Oct. 18 and 24: Thousands of high school seniors and their families will attend one of the University’s Open Houses this fall. The programs provide potential students with a chance to learn about the admission process, financial aid, scholarships and more. Visitors can register for the program at Open House registration.
• Family Weekend, Nov. 6-8: This annual program brings thousands to South County. This year veteran comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short will bring their show, a “Very Stupid Conversation,” along with the “Steep Canyon Rangers” for families and community members. Families of undergraduate students may participate in numerous activities including attending classes with their students, learning about programs on the Kingston and Narragansett Bay campuses, attending a football game and more. For more information visit Family Weekend.
J-Term: Based on the overwhelming success of the University’s J Term in 2015, more courses will be offered in 2016. Last year more than 400 students participating in J-Term’s 21 undergraduate and graduate courses, four times the number predicted. Registration for 2016 Winter J Term on-campus courses will begin on Nov. 2, 2015 and classes can begin as early as Jan. 2.
• Public Safety: Providing a safe and secure environment for living and learning is paramount at the University. Throughout the year, new and returning students and all community members receive print, web, video and email information and training about resources available to protect them against injury, fire and other threats and to ensure that the University continues its mission in a secure environment. Visit the Department of Public Safety for details about emergency preparedness.
• University Libraries: Getting ready for the new school year, the libraries’ have made it easier than ever to search the collections thanks to a new catalog system called Libraries Search. The new system offers customization options to support the needs for all levels of university research and is available at Libraries Search.
• New Deans: In addition to students, this will be a first-semester for other newcomers. In June, an international pioneer in library/information science and digital library development, Karim B. Boughida of Washington, D.C., was named dean of University Libraries. In August, Maling Ebrahimpour of St. Petersburg, Fla., was appointed dean of the College of Business Administration.
• New Degrees: The University has developed several new undergraduate and graduate degree programs including the Bachelor of Science Degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, the Master of Science in Finance (M.S.F.), Professional Science Masters in Cyber Security (P.S.M.), the Master of Science in Dietetics (online), the online Bachelor of Science (RN to BS) program in Nursing, and the post-baccalaureate certificate in Hydrology. Additional programs are under consideration by the Council on Postsecondary Education.
• Global Destinations: The doors to Cuba will open to URI students next spring with a new study abroad program at the Institute of Philosophy in Havana. From February through April, the 15-credit curriculum includes classes on economic development and social movements in Latin America, introduction to Cuban society, politics of Latin America, and political change in the Caribbean. Students will also complete an internship of their choosing that could involve writing, the arts, literature or music.
Here’s a snapshot of some work that’s been completed or continues to improve the teaching, research, learning and living spaces on the Kingston campus.
• Gender and Sexuality Center: To welcome the entire student body and all community members back to campus, the new Gender and Sexuality Center at 19 Upper College Road will hold its annual “Big Gay Picnic” on Sept. 9. Having opened in May 2015, the Center provides a range of programs and services to create and maintain an open, safe, and inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community members and friends. Supporting one of the University’s Transformational Goals, URI is the only college or university in the country to build a freestanding LGBTQ center.
• Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences: Thanks to support from Rhode Island voters in 2010, the $70 million Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences is under construction. The facility is being built on a portion of what was the parking lot between the Chafee Social Science Center and White Hall, and is expected to be open for classes in Sept. 2016. The Center will serve more than 7,000 URI students who take chemistry each year; about 40 percent of all URI degree programs require at least one chemistry class. The new building designed by William Wilson Architects of Boston will provide chemistry instruction to approximately 1,400 students a day. Of the total project cost, $61 million is being funded through a bond issue. Follow this link to a live construction site feed.
• Home Improvements: Within the last year, many improvements were made in the Roger Williams Complex and the Garrahy and Wiley residence halls. In Roger Williams residences, improvements included bathroom and bedroom renovations and installation of electronic locks on all apartment, suite and bedroom doors. In Garrahy and Wiley halls, the addition of kitchens converted 90 suites to apartment-style spaces. The $16 million renovations have made these residences more appealing to sophomores seeking independent-style living of semi-suites.
• Summer Housing: URI’s residence halls did not sleep for the summer. Some were used for students attending summer school, summer student employees, and 15 facilities were used to house conference attendees throughout the summer. It is estimated that 10,000 people stayed at URI this summer to attend some 50 separate conference events.
• College of Engineering: Thanks to Rhode Island voters, plans are under development for construction of a new engineering complex. The $125 million bond issue that voters passed in November to support new engineering facilities will add to the construction activity already going on around campus.
• Power, Power, Power: The University has upgraded the high voltage electrical substations and electrical infrastructure on the Kingston campus. Work was completed on two new substations, at Butterfield Road and Alumni Avenue, and improvements were made to the existing substations. A new substation is also being constructed on Flagg Road.
Other Capital Projects: And for the 2016-17 academic year, a Nursing Education Center in Providence will be realized thanks to the support and approval by the Board of Education and the State of Rhode Island. The University of Rhode Island College of Nursing and the Rhode Island College Nursing Program will share this facility.
Below are current rates for tuition, fees and residential life:
TUITION AND MANDATORY FEES (2015-16)
• Undergraduate Tuition and fees:
o In-state $12,862
o Out-of-state $28,852
o Regional $21,208
• Undergraduate Room/Board, $11,956
• Graduate Tuition and fees:
o In-state $13,342
o Out-of-state $25,752
o Regional $19,240
• FINANCIAL AID (2014–15):
o 75 percent of students receive aid
o $122M (awarded by external sources)
o $82.5M (awarded by URI)