Finish What You Started

You’re in the Right Place

URI’s Finish What You Started program offers creative pathways for all students, but especially adults looking to return to college after a break in their education.

Tell us more about you

If you’ve been considering transferring, completing your degree, returning to college after a break, or are just looking to take one class, our Finish What You Started Program is the right place to jump in and begin.

At the University of Rhode Island, we believe that you should not have to go about this process alone. You will have access to personal advising and guidance for admission, re-admission, and transferring to the University. Our staff will work with you every step of the way.

Always wanted a college degree?

We’ll work with you to find a program that matches
your lifestyle.

Finish What You Started students can attend our Kingston and Providence campuses or take classes online. We offer many courses online and in the evening for busy working professionals. You can also take advantage of our two summer sessions and our winter J-term (January) mini-semester to fast track your education. 

Which best describes you?

I’m new to URI

If you are interested in performance-based admission, transferring earned college credits to finish your degree at URI, or if you are a military service member (or a veteran, or a dependent) please see the resources below.*                                                 

I’m a former URI student

If you have been enrolled at URI before (as a matriculated college student), please see the resources below.           


*URI cannot guarantee that credits which are 8 years or older are acceptable for transfer. Academic deans and department chairs will make decisions on an individual basis regarding the admissibility of credits.

You may qualify for Performance-Based Admission

  • Have you been out of traditional learning environments for 3 years or more and have no (or limited) college experience?
  • Were you not successful the first time you enrolled in college courses, but have a unique background or experience that you would like to share with our Performance- Based Admission Specialist?

Performance-Based Admission (PBA) is available to applicants with no (or limited) prior college attendance whose last formal, full-time educational experience occurred at least three years ago, and who have graduated from high school or earned a general equivalency diploma (GED). 

How it works

Through PBA, students may take 15 credits as “conditionally accepted” students. They are admitted to URI’s University College for Academic Success, and after they have completed 15 credits, passed UCS/SPC 305*, and earned a 2.0 overall GPA or higher, PBA students will be fully matriculated at URI.

For students who have hit some bumps in the road academically, the PBA program offers an opportunity to demonstrate college readiness.

*UCS/SPC 305 : Learning and Career Principles for Adult Students.
View/Print our PBA Quick Facts Sheet
URI Providence Campus

Sometimes life is complicated

Not sure where you fit in? Work one-on-one with an Admission Specialist dedicated to helping adult learners navigate the application process. 

Success Stories

We are so proud of our our dedicated Finish What You Started students. We hope these success stories will inspire you to follow your dreams and think big at URI.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you have decided to return to college and finish your degree, you probably have many questions about the process. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers.

Am I too old?

No! The college landscape has changed, and the majority of students are no longer ‘traditional’ 18-year-olds who just graduated from high school. Our oldest student to date is 83, and the average age of our adult students is 37. Our support systems and array of classes make it possible for anyone to earn their degree. Since the program’s inception in 2012, we’ve proudly graduated more than 575 students.

What if I’m applying for the first time?

To apply to the University of Rhode Island, please complete The Common Application. Feel free to share your story about why you are looking to return to your education. 

How do I apply for readmission?

If you have previously attended URI, you need to submit an application for readmission to your degree granting college, along with a personal statement and official transcripts from any college at which you have completed coursework since leaving URI.

Who are Finish What You Started students?

Most of our students are commuters from within the state and surrounding areas. Many also work full-time, raise families, are student veterans, and support elderly family members while pursuing a degree. You will be in good company.

My previous college grades do not reflect who I am today.  What should I do? 

Eligible adult learners can be considered for admission under Performance-Based Admission (PBA). PBA is available to applicants with little or no college experience whose last formal, full-time educational experience occurred at least three years ago, and who have graduated from high school or earned a general equivalency diploma (GED). PBA applicants must complete a mandatory interview prior to being offered admission. Interviews are offered virtually or in-person.

Why now?

Finishing your degree can benefit both your personal and professional life. It can help you prepare for new career paths and jobs of the future. A college degree can also positively impact job retention, as there is a strong correlation between higher education and employment rates. The personal satisfaction of earning a college degree can improve your outlook on life and increase your earning potential, while encouraging those around you to set goals based on your positive example.

Why URI?

We understand that you are busy. We understand that you need help getting re-started. We know that you want to earn that college degree. Our goal is to recruit, retrain, support, and graduate adults who did not finish college. To help you get your degree, we offer:

Can I get financial aid?

Many of our students qualify for financial aid, even after a long break in their higher education. When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), we’ll consider you for grants, loans, and scholarships. We also offer a $500 Finish What You Started scholarship for qualified students.

Can I just take a course to try it out?

If you would like to give URI a try, you can complete a Non-Degree Application and register as a non-matriculated student. Your Finish What You Started coordinator will help you with the process.

Can I take courses online?

Yes! URI offers more than one-hundred online courses, with new courses added every semester. After meeting with an advisor and determining what you need to complete your degree, you will be able to see which courses you can complete online, and which courses you will need to take on campus, in either Providence or Kingston.

How will I know which courses I need to earn my degree?

After speaking with a coordinator, you will be partnered with an academic advisor or department chair to complete a degree audit. This will give you a good indication of which courses you will need to complete your degree.

What if I have an outstanding URI bill?

Contact Enrollment Services and speak with a representative to discuss your outstanding balance. The Enrollment Services Office can be reached at 401.874.9500.

What if I have a hold on my account?

Departments can issue holds for a number of reasons. If you discover a hold on your account, contact the department issuing the hold to resolve the issue.

How do I choose my major and courses to study?

Your academic advisor will assist you with selecting your major and choosing courses.

Can I change my major?

Your academic advisor can assist you with any questions you may have regarding changing your major.

What is e-Campus?

The Student Information System at URI is known as “e-Campus.” You can access e-Campus with a User ID and Password registration that you set up. For assistance, call the user-friendly HELP DESK at 401.874.HELP(4357).

My credits are more than 8 years old. Are they transferrable?

Due to accreditation issues, certain programs cannot guarantee that all credits eight years or older are still transferrable. Academic Deans and Department Chairs will make decisions on an individual basis regarding the admissibility of credits.


Contact Finish What You Started

Reach out to our office directly with any questions.
We look forward to connecting with you.


University of Rhode Island
Finish What You Started

Office of Admission
Newman Hall
14 Upper College Road
Kingston, RI 02881