May 21, 2024

$4 million in scholarships available through Rhode Island Foundation

April 15 is the next looming deadline


Providence, RI -- At the time of year when colleges are sending out their financial aid packages, $4 million in scholarships is available through the Rhode Island Foundation. More than two dozen students from East Providence received aid last year to attend schools ranging from Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island to Boston University and the University of Southern California.

“This can help students and their families bridge gaps that might seem insurmountable,” said David N. Cicilline, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “These scholarships can make dreams come true for the students who get help and the donors who made it possible. The results of their generosity will be felt for years as these young people make their marks in their careers and on their communities.”

Dozens of individual and organizational donors have established scholarship funds at the Foundation to help students cover the cost of tuition, fees and books. The Robert G. and Joyce Andrew Scholarship Fund alone helped nearly 90 students attend college last year.

“This is life-changing. Now I can make full use of all the great learning opportunities at college with no delays or issues. The support not only enables me to pursue a career in engineering; it inspires me to grow into someone who will contribute greatly to my community in the future. I feel empowered to wholeheartedly pursue my dreams,” said Blessed Adeoye who attends Roger Williams University with the help of an Andrew scholarship.

Hundreds of scholarships are available. In addition to general assistance, the Foundation offers a number of awards targeting specific majors, including the arts, nursing and filmmaking. At up to $60,000 over four years, one of the largest is the Rhode Island PBS Foundation Scholarship, which helps students pursuing journalism or communications as a career.

“Many students like me cannot help but worry about the financial costs of college. I felt a huge relief when I realized I was going to be able to now afford to attend college, live on campus, play tennis for Rhode Island College, contribute to my school community and pursue a career in broadcasting or public relations,” said Isabella Ba, who received a scholarship from the fund last year to attend Rhode Island College, where she is majoring in communications.

Other scholarship funds provide assistance based on gender or family history among other factors. The Patty & Melvin Alperin First Generation Scholarship helps students who are the first in their families to go to college and the Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund helps students of color.

“This will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in helping me to focus on both my collegiate athletic career and my academic pursuits as I work toward earning a degree in Exercise and Sports Science. This support has truly inspired me to strive for excellence in all aspects of my life,” said Elijah Barber, who attends Johnson and Wales University with the help of a Black Philanthropy Bannister scholarship.

In addition to help with college costs, the Foundation offers aid to Rhode Islanders who attend trade or technical schools in preparation for employment through funds like the David L. Taton Family Vocational/Technical Scholarship Fund.

For most of the scholarship funds, the deadline to apply is April 15. For more information about applying, visit

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Through civic leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is improving the lives of all Rhode Islanders. For more information, visit


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