Rio Salado College


With locations all around the state of Arizona, Rio Salado College is a Maricopa Community College which prides itself on being the “college within everyone’s reach.” Offering students opportunities including online learning, corporate and government partnerships, dual enrollment, adult Basic education, incarcerated re-entry, military and veteran opportunities and university transfer, Rio Salado College concentrates on serving the needs of the local community. Students may choose to enroll in over 50 certificate and degree programs, or participate in one of more than 500 online classes offered, many beginning on a weekly basis. New to students is the Communiversity @ Surprise program, where certificates, associates, bachelors and master’s degrees are offered through a partnership between three community colleges and three universities. An award-winning institution of higher learning, Rio Salado has been awarded such titles as the “Top Military-friendly School” from Military Advanced Education, “Excellence in Education” award from the Ronald McDonald House charities of Phoenix organization, and “America’s Greenest Campus” from Climate Culture.

Rio Salado College’s many campus centers include the “Green Learning Campus” and the Rio Salado College Ann Ott Learning Center, both located in Phoenix, as well as locations is Avondale, Mesa, Surprise, Glendale, and Tempe. All campuses work to encourage “inclusiveness,” which encourages mutual respect for differences and commonalities between students, faculty and staff on all levels, including intercultural, social and environmental factors. Students may attend Brown Bag Series events to learn about such concepts, as presented by the Inclusiveness Brown Bag Steering Committee.

Students wishing to study at Rio Salado College may choose from areas of study like Computer Technology, Dental Assisting, Early Childhood & Human Development, Law Enforcement Technology, Language/Literary Culture of the USA, Public Administration, Sustainable Food Systems and more. Degrees granted by Rio Salado include Associate in Arts degrees in Elementary Education, General Requirements, Special Requirements, Liberal Arts, Business, Science, General Studies, and Transfer Partnership. Other academic opportunities include Adult Basic Education, ESL Online, GED, Honors Phi Theta Kappa, Professional Certification, Property Management, Rise Learning for Life, and Troops to Teachers. For real-life learning experience, students may elect to participate in AARP, Military, Employer-based Training and University partnerships.

Rio Salado College is accredited by multiple agencies, and has articulation agreements with Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, NorthCentral University and more. As part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools RSC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation, the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), the Commission on Dental Accreditation, the Arizona Department of Education, and the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).

Most Popular Fields of Study

Information Summary

Ranks 60th in Arizona and 3875th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 30.8
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $3,494
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 43 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 30% / 29%
Enrollment Total (all students) 18,304


Prospective Rio Salado College students may register online, or by telephone, mail, fax or in-person. Admissions criteria may vary by program. Students should be being by selecting the classes they wish to enroll in from the online class schedule or by consulting and advisor. Before registering for classes, students should verify any course prerequisites and descriptions. All tuition and fees must be paid prior to the start date of all course work.

Students at Rio Salado College are encouraged to register online by utilizing, where they may also access important information and documents like student transcripts, grades, financial aid info, payment information and more. All new students Hill be assigned a MEID username, which allows login to RioLearn, and


Campus :: Rio Salado College
Campus :: Rio Salado College

Financial Aid

Students at Rio Salado will be charged by the credit hour for all classes in which they have successfully enrolled. Residents of Maricopa County will pay tuition at a discounted rate, with Out-of-County and Out-of-State residents will pay a higher hourly price per credit hour.

Any student wishing to apply for financial aid at RSC must begin by filling out the FAFSA and contacting the Rio Salado Financial Aid Office. Students may qualify for assistance, including but not limited to grants, loans, and work study programs. Additional assistance is available by way of scholarships, offered by various community and national organizations, including but not limited to the American Muslim Women’s Association Scholarship, the All-Arizona Academic Team, the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation, the Helios Scholarship, and more. Rio Salado scholarships may be applied for online, like the Presidents’ Scholarship. Further scholarship resources are available to students via the RSC website, or through the Financial Aid Office, including scholarships reserved for Hispanic students.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 6808th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Arizona.


Rio Salado College encourages a diverse group of students, across gender, age and racial barriers. The majority of students, however, are between 20 and 29 years of age. Communication between students, faculty and support staff is encouraged via webcam chat, and instant messaging, as RSC makes a priority of using technology to better and empower students. Students have use of campus resources like computer labs, counseling centers, disability resources and services, international student services, libraries, RioCast, tutoring, testing and veteran affairs. College and career success classes are offered to students to help develop study and learning skills, as well as set career and academic goals. Available courses include Career Exploration, Creating College Success, and Strategies for College Success.

New to Rio Salado is the RioLounge, an online student union available only to Rio students. Here students find a forum to meet, chat, discuss and learn about campus news and activities, buy and sell items, and participate in student groups. Anything a student would expect to find in a traditional student union can be found in this virtual student meeting place.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Local Community

Rio Salado College prides itself on its community connections for not only students but faculty and staff. Community outreach opportunities include education opportunities, radio stations and outreach events. Educational opportunities pair students with un-served and underserved communities via organizations like the Boys & Girls Club Scholarship, Educational Programs for Incarcerated Students, Adult Basic Education and the Maricopa Career Network. Local events and fairs that encourage RSC student participation include the Tempe chamber State of the City Address, the Luke Air Force Base Fall Festival, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and the Arizona Women’s Education and Employment “Faces of Success.”

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