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Rio Salado College

Rio Salado College Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes)

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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


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 my.maricopa.edu, 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 my.maricopa.edu.

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 6159th 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.”

Information Summary

Ranks 62nd in Arizona and 3937th overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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

Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary N/A N/A
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest N/A N/A

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 500 0.30
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 5 0.00
Forcible Rape 45 0.03
Robbery 237 0.14
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 1,579 0.96
Larceny 6,804 4.15
Vehicle theft 550 0.34

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Tempe, AZ 85281
Surrounding communityMidsize city (inside urban area, pop. between 100,000 to 250,000)
Total Population51,051 (51,001 urban / 50 rural)
Households20,173 (2.30 people per house)
Median Household Income$29,605
Families7,909 (3.12 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Associate's — Public Urban-serving Multicampus
Undergraduate PopulationHigher part-time two-year
EnrollmentExclusively undergraduate two-year
Size & SettingLarge two-year

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringAssociate's degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District409

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 4001st for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $1,944 $1,944 $7,728
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $30 $30 $30
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $81 $81 $322
FT Graduate Tuition N/A N/A N/A
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $3,238 $3,238 $9,022
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $12,622 $12,622 $18,406
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $7,534 $7,534 $13,318

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $1,854(N/C) $1,854(N/C) $7,638(N/C)
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,200 $1,240
On-Campus – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $7,272 $5,184
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $3,384 $4,256
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $3,384 $4,256

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record N/A /  N/A /  N/A
College Prep. CompletionN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scoresN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm CapacityN/A
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 587th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $83,283 ($82,988 male / $75,607 female)
Number of FT Faculty 19 (7 male / 12 female)
Number of PT Faculty 810
FT Faculty Ratio 0.0 : 1
Total Benefits $3,023,999

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2323 W 14th St
Tempe, AZ 85281
p. 480-517-8000
w. www.rio.maricopa.edu

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