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Rio Salado College (RSC) is a public community college located in Tempe, Arizona. Founded in 1978, it is one of ten independently accredited institutions comprising the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD). With opportunities to participate in college bridge pathways, community-based learning, corporate and government partnerships, early college initiatives, and online education, Rio Salado College offers affordable access to higher education. The institution also honors everyone’s unique qualities with respect and dignity. Prominent core values include innovation, learning, diversity, inclusion, sustainability, collaboration, and service.
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Overview of Rio Salado College (RSC)
The student population at Rio Salado College (RSC) is approximately 15,682, with all students enrolled pursuing undergraduate degrees. To facilitate learning, the university employs about 52 full-time and 677 part-time faculty members. While the majority of these professionals are responsible for instructional pursuits, four are actively involved in research and public service. The resulting student-to-faculty ratio is 25:1, which is higher than the national average.
|Campus Setting||City: Midsize|
|Student Faculty Ratio||28 : 1|
Top Rankings For Rio Salado College
RSC Acceptance Rate and Admissions
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|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)||N/A|
|Common Application Accepted||N/A|
RSC Tuition Cost & Financial Aid
Maricopa Community College District established a standard student cost of attendance budget based on institutional costs and estimated costs of living each year. While some students spend more than the standard amounts, cost of attendance is sometimes less for others. The overall amount students can expect to pay will vary depending on several factors, including residency and course division type.
Generally, the institution charges per credit hour. During the 2023-2024 academic year, Maricopa County residents will pay $97 per credit hour for lower division classes and $145 per credit hour for upper division classes. Students residing in Arizona but outside of the Maricopa County area are charged at a higher rate. These individuals will pay between $372 and $420 per credit hour, depending on course division. Distance learners will pay between $241 and $375 per credit hour. There is also the option for students to pay a flat rate tuition rate of $2,750 for lower division courses or $4,124 for upper division courses. This price includes 11 credits or more.
Prospective students should also be prepared to pay for books, supplies, housing, meals, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses. While Rio Salado College does not offer housing, the institution does have a sustainable teaching kitchen that serves those enrolled, as well as faculty, staff, and the local community.
Rio Salado College offer many types of financial aid to help make higher education less expensive including grants, scholarships, and loans. Incoming students are encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), however, as no need-based assistance is available until this document has been properly filed. As of the 2020-2021 academic year, 71% of beginning undergraduate students attending Rio Salado College received some amount of financial aid.
|Average net price||Current Year|
|Average Total Aid||$4,547|
|Students Receiving Financial Aid||86%|
|Room & Board||$8,192|
- Tuition In-State - $2,070
- Tuition Out-of-State - $7,854
- Books and Supplies -$1,472
- Room & Board - $8,192
- Other - $5,280
Popular Educational Academics at RSC
Rio Salado College is dedicated to providing innovative educational opportunities to meet and needs of today’s students. The vast majority of classes and programs are offered online. A limited number of programs are, however, held in person at the campus in Tempe, Arizona and in Phoenix. Online classes are generally 14 to 16 weeks in length, although eight-week course timeframes as available as well. Notably, the institution has provided quality distance learning options for over 20 years.
Students can choose from over 135 certificate and degree programs offered in the following fields of interest:
- Applied Technology
- Behavioral Science and Human Services
- Business, Entrepreneurialism, and Management
- Computer and Information Technology
- Culture and Society
- Health Sciences
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
- Visual and Performing Arts
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Rio Salado College had a first-year undergraduate retention rate of 37% for full-time students and 31% for part-time students in fall 2021. For reference, the national average is 68%. Overall, this indicates that the majority of students enrolled at the university were not pleased enough with their academic and extracurricular experiences to return for a second year.
Graduation rates for Rio Salado College are comparable. Of full-time, first-time students who began their studies in 2018, only 9% graduated within 150% of normal time. While this measures success after six years of instruction, most students strive to graduate within four years. Even fewer students beginning their studies full-time in 2018 and pursuing bachelor’s degrees were able to graduate within this timeframe – 4% graduated within normal time. The transfer-out rate was 20%.
Rio Salado College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). In addition to institutional accreditation, many education programs have been granted specialized accreditation by other agencies. Some prominent examples include the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC), Association for Addiction Professionals NAADAC, and American Dental Association (ADA).
Student Population Total
Student Population 17,362
Most Popular Programs & Majors
(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)
Outcome & Salary
Rio Salado College prepares thousands of knowledgeable workers for careers through collaborative partnerships with leading businesses and government agencies. The institution does not, however, conduct any public surveys to gather outcome data from students and graduates.
Those enrolled, as well as alumni, can take advantage of the many benefits offered by the career services center. The support services offered include assistance with self-assessment, career research, education planning, and goal setting. Professionals are also available to help with personal branding, job search strategies, resume building, cover letter writing, and interview preparation. Those who need additional help can always contact a representative to request an appointment. According to Payscale, graduates from Rio Salado College earn an average base salary of $59,000 per year.
|College Grads Early Career Salary||$47,600|
|College Grads Average Salary||$39,500|
|College Grads Mid Career Salary||$67,500|
|Return on Investment (ROI)|
|10 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$395,000|
|20 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$1,070,000|
|Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year||$36,068|
|10 Year Projected ROI||$358,932|
|20 Year Projected ROI||$1,033,932|
|No College Education Salary Comparison|
|National Average Salary||$38,792|
|10 Year Projected Income||$387,920|
|20 Year Projected Income||$775,840|
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