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Alternative Admission Programs

Preparatory Enrollment Program (PEP)

A limited number of high school seniors from Rhode Island who have the ability and potential to succeed in college with appropriate academic support services, may be selected to participate in the Preparatory Enrollment Program (PEP). Preference in selection is given to low-income first-generation college students.

The program consists of two academic phases intended to prepare participants fully for the college-level work they will face at Rhode Island College. The first phase begins in the spring prior to enrollment at the College. PEP students come to the campus one evening a week for six weeks to attend classes in study skills and to meet with their PEP counselor. The second phase, which occurs during the summer, consists of six weeks of intensive academic study. PEP students live on campus in College residence halls while taking classes in writing and mathematics, as well as one freshman-level course for college credit.

Class sizes are small and individual and group tutoring sessions are frequent. College facilities, such as the library and computer laboratories, are completely open to PEP students. Upon successful completion of both the spring and summer components, PEP students enroll as freshmen and have full access to advising resources through their PEP counselor.

The admission process involves a review of the student's academic records, SAT scores and other standardized test scores (if appropriate), a statement written by the applicant, family/student financial information, and a school counselor recommendation. Some students selected for final consideration may be invited to participate in a personal interview.

Required PEP Admission Materials

  • A completed Common Application. This includes the required 250-word college essay (the $50 application fee is waived for PEP applicants). The Common Application may be completed online at
  • Official high school transcripts or GED test scores.
  • At least one personal and one academic written recommendation. Good sources of recommendations include teachers, guidance counselors, employers, agency officials, and ministers.
  • Official scores on the SAT, sent to Rhode Island College. ACT scores with ACT Writing Test will also be accepted (SAT code: 3724; ACT code: 3810)
  • Once all application materials are received, including high school transcripts, eligible applicants may be invited to the college for a personal interview.

Required PEP Financial Aid Materials

  • A completed Rhode Island College Financial Aid Application sent to the college's Office of Student Financial Aid and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may complete the FAFSA on the Web at or request a copy of the paper FAFSA by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243. (RIC FAFSA code: 003407). RIC Financial Aid Application deadline is March 1.

THE PEP APPLICATION DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 1. All application materials must be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and postmarked by that date.

Performance-Based Admission Program (PBA)

The Performance-Based Admission (PBA) Program at Rhode Island College is designed for adult students who have minimal or no previous college work and do not have traditional freshman admissions credentials (such as SAT scores or a full college preparatory program from high school).

Eligibility Guidelines for PBA Applicants

  • Applicants should be at least 20 years of age.
  • Applicant must have no more than 12 attempted college credits.
  • Applicants must possess a high school diploma or the GED equivalent.
  • Candidates whose first language is other than English must demonstrate proficiency in English by successfully completing Intermediate ESL or Rhode Island College's ESL Placement Examination.
Upon acceptance to the PBA Program, students are considered degree candidates and are required to:
  • Complete the college's writing and mathematics requirements
  • Meet regularly with the assigned PBA Advisor
  • Successfully complete 6 college courses (18 credits) which must include CC 125 (College Learning Strategies)
  • Maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average
  • Begin the General Education program and do remedial coursework if prescribed by the PBA advisor.

Academic Advisement/Counseling for Enrolled PBA Students

  • Enrolled students are required to work with an advisor from the Office of Academic Support and Information Services (OASIS) through their first six college courses. The advisor helps the student with academic choices, college procedures and policies, and other questions that may arise while the student is in the program.
  • Rhode Island College has learning centers to help students strengthen academic skills in writing and mathematics, study skills and time management.
  • Upon successful completion of six courses and a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA within one year, the student will be "released" from Performance-Based Admission (conditional admission), is considered a regular degree candidate at Rhode Island College and will be assigned an advisor from the department of his/her major.

Project ExCEL (Excellence in College for English Learners)

Project ExCEL (Excellence in College for English Learners) is an academic initiative at Rhode Island College aiming to expand college access for talented bilingual students. Because the process of acquisition of academic English for non-native speakers of English is complex and extends over several years, many highly capable, literate and academically talented advanced bilinguals often do not have all the mainstream English courses required for admission to a four-year college or university. In close partnership with high school and other counselors, Project ExCEL @ RIC enrolls bright, accomplished bilinguals with established success in academic subjects and provides them the opportunity to pursue a Rhode Island College degree.

Admissions requirements

  • Successful completion of high school ESL courses
  • 3 units of mathematics
  • 2 units of laboratory science
  • 2 units of social science
  • 2 units of foreign language (may be waived if a student exhibits proficiency in multiple languages)
  • 5 additional units of diversified study

Additional requirements

  • Eligible candidates will generally rank in the top 10% of the graduating class or have a minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Interview
  • RIC ESL Placement Exam
  • RIC Writing Placement Test

Bridges Learning Community

The Bridges Learning Community offers a structured first-year experience designed to provide students with personalized academic support and guidance during their transition to college. The selection process is competitive and admissions decisions are made by a committee comprised of representatives from both the admissions office and the Office of Student Life. Students cannot apply for the Bridges Learning Community. Candidates are selected from the general admissions applicant pool and referred to the committee by the admissions office. The Bridges Learning Community is limited to a small number of qualified Rhode Island students.

Bridges Students receive:

  • Individualized tutoring and advising
  • Assistance in transitioning to college through the RIC College Learning Strategies course
  • A Bridges advisor throughout the undergraduate experience

Page last updated: March 13, 2014