Tuition Policy for Public Institutions of Higher Education


Tuition Policy for Public Institutions of Higher Education


The Board of Governors for Higher Education has among its responsibilities for postsecondary education the preparation of a total balanced budget request to the state budget officer, including as revenue student tuition. The Board is committed to the concept of maximum access to educational opportunities and, to that end, believes that tuition should be maintained at a level that permits and encourages attendance at public institutions of postsecondary education.

Before setting tuition for each institution, the Board of Governors will consider total unrestricted current fund expenditures, exclusive of unrestricted auxiliary enterprise funds at each institution, the revenue needs of the public postsecondary institutions, the financial resources of the state, and the following premises:

  • The public institutions should maintain a policy of sufficiently low tuition so that no student, after receiving whatever federal and state support he or she may be eligible for, is unable to attend a public institution by virtue of inadequate finances.
  • Tuition charges should be differentiated among the public institutions according to institutional objectives.
  • Tuition charges for non-resident students should move toward full cost of education per student. However, those charges should be reasonable enough to sustain the geographic and cultural diversity of students in attendance.

Institutions should annually report on the status of differentiated tuition rates as well as report on the status of charge for full cost of education for non-resident students. Policy may be revised for non-resident graduate students.


  • Proposed increases in tuition charges should be at a rate taking into account the institutional costs, level of state budget support, available student aid from federal sources and RIHEAA, and such state and federal price guidelines as may be in effect.
  • Proposed student financial aid budgeted by the institutions will take into account tuition increases, cost-of-living increases, and other financial aid available.
  • Tuition charges per credit will be adjusted to provide equity for full-time and  part-time students depending on credit hour load and the range of credit hours defining full-time status. Students who enroll for credits in excess of the upper limit for full-time status shall pay additional tuition at the per credit rate for those credits.
  • Tuition charges for summer session and outreach courses may be independent of those for the academic year.
  • Tuition rates for students participating in regional exchange programs will be based upon agreements reached with the New England Board of Higher Education.


Policy Number
Legal Citation
RIGL §16-59-4(4) §16-59-9
5/8/1980 (BR); 7/2/1981 (BG)
10/24/2005 (BOG)