Statue of Roger Williams at Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island. Armand LaMontagne, 1997 | Photo by Kenneth C. Zirkel (CC BY-SA 4.0)

High school seniors have until Feb. 28 to apply for college scholarships of up to $20,000 a year through Carter Roger Williams Initiative at the Rhode Island Foundation. Conceived of and funded by philanthropists Letitia and the late John Carter, the program honors the principles of the state’s founding father.

“Roger Williams was a complicated man, but the pillars he aspired to still resonate today. Thanks to the vision and continued commitment of the Carter family, young people throughout the state will continue to be able to discover and connect with his values,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation in a statement.

Rhode Island high school seniors who display an appreciation for values like freedom of conscience and learning from others that Roger Williams practiced are eligible for up to $80,000 over four years based on financial need and academic good standing. Applicants must be residents of Rhode Island, high school seniors and attend a public, parochial or independent high school in Rhode Island.

Since the program started in 2017, 29 students have been awarded scholarships totaling $1.68 million. The previous winners include Ezra Monteiro, a 2019 graduate of Rogers High School who attends Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Applicants will be evaluated based on financial need, comprehension and application of Roger Williams’ principles, and record of academic and community achievement. For more information about applying for a Carter Rogers Williams Scholarship, visit

While the Carter Roger Williams Scholarships are the largest scholarships the Foundation awards, they are among $4 million in scholarships that are available this year.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit