PROVIDENCE, RI - As Governor Gina M. Raimondo pushes to make Rhode Island the first state in the nation to guarantee every student two years of free college tuition, U.S. News & World Report has released its inaugural 'Best States' rankings which show Rhode Island is among the top 10 states for college readiness. The new ranking comes a week after the College Board released data that shows Rhode Island ranks among the top five fastest improving states for Advanced Placement performance. Additionally, the Rhode Island Department of Education published data on Monday which showed graduation rates at Rhode Island's public high schools continue to increase.
"We know that the jobs coming to Rhode Island require a degree beyond high school. This survey validates the work we've done to invest and better prepare our high school students for college. It also makes clear that we can't afford not to invest in their future," said Governor Raimondo. "Even when students are prepared for college, many struggle to complete a degree because the cost of college is too burdensome. Our Rhode Island's Promise free college initiative will help more students earn a degree and ensure that Rhode Islanders get the jobs companies are creating."
U.S. News also ranks Rhode Island as the second best state in the nation for growth of young population, number one in the nation for Medicare quality, third in the nation for public safety (crime and corrections) and number 10 for overall health care. U.S. News cites that Rhode Island has some of the best access to healthcare and some of the highest quality care in the nation. Rhode Island's uninsured rate is below five percent and while premiums on other state ACA exchanges increased by as much as 25 percent this year, Rhode Island actually saw a decline in premium rates in nearly all plans.
Overall, Rhode Island ranks number 21 in the inaugural release of the rankings.
U.S. News evaluated states across 68 metrics to create the Best States rankings. The rankings are based on tens of thousands of data points provided by McKinsey & Company's Leading States Index. In calculating the rankings, categories were weighted based on a national "citizen experience" survey, conducted by McKinsey, that asked people to prioritize each subject in their state and provide their levels of satisfaction with government services. More information about the methodology can be found here.
The new rankings will be available on the U.S. News Best States platform on Tuesday, February 28, 2018. ###