Raimondo pledges to expand Rhode Island Promise program if re-elected

GOV. GINA M. RAIMONDO has proposed to expand the Rhode Island Promise college scholarship program, if re-elected to a second term. / PBN FILE PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

PROVIDENCE – Gov. Gina M. Raimondo has proposed to dramatically expand the Rhode Island Promise program, if re-elected to a second term.

The scholarship program that now allows high school graduates to attend the Community College of Rhode Island tuition-free for two years would be expanded to a four-year bachelor’s degree option.

After completing an associate program at CCRI, students could then complete a tuition-free bachelor’s degree at either the University of Rhode Island or Rhode Island College.

The proposed expansion would also open up CCRI scholarships to all part-time students, including older adults who take at least 6 credits per semester.

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The cost of the expansion is estimated to be about $35 million a year.

Raimondo announced her intention to expand the educational program, as part of an election promise. The General Assembly would also have to authorize the program. Raimondo had introduced a similar four-year, tuition-free program in 2017, which the General Assembly rejected as too expensive.

In a news release, Raimondo said “whether you’re 18 and just starting out, 35 and stuck in a job without a future, or 50 and need to start over, there will be an opportunity for you to get the training and education you need to keep up and get ahead.”

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at macdonald@PBN.com.