Think you know every college out there? Think again. Here are some diamonds in the rough from The Ocean State.
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Bryant University (Smithfield, RI): Bryant has developed into a really wonderful institution, with strength in many areas beyond business. The emphasis is placed on applied learning, and the school has an outstanding program in psychology that employs this. Still underrated, Bryant is every bit as academically challenging as the other two business powerhouses (Bentley and Babson) without the panache. It's more "wired" with technology and even has a simulated trading room. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, this is a top business school, with caring faculty and small classes that make learning easier and more relaxed. The area around Bryant has become a haven for major business, such as CVS and Fidelity, and internships are readily available. Support services tend to be very good as well. Job placement is excellent, as is financial and merit aid.
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Providence College (Providence, RI): Although it has an excellent faculty and offers as strong a curriculum as Boston College and College of the Holy Cross, Providence is often perceived as lower-ranking. Its retention rate of 98% is among the highest in New England.
Salve Regina University (Newport, RI): Salve Regina is raising the bar, and its academic standards are rising as well. Its mission is clear: This Catholic college teaches practical and useful skills, especially in the health sciences. The school is not particularly difficult to gain admission to, although in recent years, it has been able to accept only 50-60% of applicants. Academics are demanding but reasonable, and professors work with students to make them successful. The campus is being updated all the time and offers access to Providence. The physical location in Newport is fantastic, with breathtaking views of the ocean and a cliff walk at the edge of campus. Mansions from the "Gilded Era" flank the college, and after summer tourists leave, students have the entire town to themselves.
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