Should state aid to Rhode Island’s three public colleges be increased to help offset expected declines in enrollment?

ALL THREE of Rhode Island's public colleges expect fall enrollment to decline. Above, the University of Rhode Island's South Kingstown campus./ COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND

All three of Rhode Island’s state colleges are expecting enrollment declines for the upcoming fall semester, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Community College of Rhode Island expects fall enrollment to be 10-20% lower than last year, according to a report recently submitted to the R.I. Council on Postsecondary Education.

Rhode Island College’s preliminary figures project a 12.9% drop in fall enrollment, according to its own report to the education council.

And the University of Rhode Island told Providence Business News it expects a 3% reduction from last year’s enrollment.

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If state aid is not increased to help make up for lost revenue from declining enrollment, the schools could be forced to cut programs and staff that would weaken their educational offerings.

Should state aid to Rhode Island’s three public colleges be increased to help offset expected declines in enrollment?

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