Rio Salado College

2323 W 14th St, Tempe, AZ 85281

School Details

Rio Salado College is a community college located in Tempe, Arizona that was originally founded in 1967 as one of the 10 Maricopa County community colleges.


Since 1996, the school has offered online classes and, starting in 2006, a majority of the courses have been transferred online. The school is recognized as a leader in Higher Education with specialization in distance learning and online education. Today, Rio Salado College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Part of the mission of Rio Salado is to aim to transform the experience of learning through offering students choice, access, and flexibility; customized high quality learning designs; and personalized services and organizational responsiveness.

In addition to fostering a learning environment, Rio Salado makes sure that even the online students at RSC have a social life with RioLounge, the schools online social network. RSC is the largest of the Maricopa Community Colleges and serves around 60,000 students annually. The student body ratio is 62 percent female and 36 percent male, with 2 percent identifying as other. The majority of students are ages ranging from 20-29 years of age. About 60 percent of students are from in-state.


RSC offers online programs, certificates, academic certificates, and degrees. There are around 40 different areas of study that students can choose from. In addition, there are 9 Associate’s degrees offered, which are:

  • Associate in Arts
  • Associate in Arts in Elementary Education
  • Associate in Arts in Fine Arts – Art, Dance, or Theatre
  • Associate in Business General Requirements
  • Associate in Business Special Requirements
  • Associate in General Studies
  • Associate in Science
  • Arizona General Education Curriculum
  • Associate in Applied Science General Education Requirements.

These are all two-year programs. RSC also offers many learning opportunities and pathways to help students on their journey of higher education. Online education is one of the most prominent academic programs at the college. The school offers over 600 online classes and over 100 programs. Other “learning opportunities and pathways” for Rio Salado students include adult education, English language acquisition for adults, career and technical education programs, dual enrollment, bookkeeping test preparation, international education, military partnerships, human resources certifications, Troops to Teachers, and more.


There is a different application process for students who wish to receive a certificate or degree versus those students who wish to take online courses. However, both can be done online. It is important to note that Rio Salado has an open admissions policy. Tuition for Maricopa County residents is $81 per credit hour and $215 per credit hour for out-of-state students taking online course. On average, in-state students pay around $1,854 a year and out-of-state students pay $7,638 a year. There is also financial aid offered to those students who qualify. Qualification is determined through filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Aid can be received either through loans, scholarships, and grants. Rio Salado also offers a variety of grants and scholarships for students who show promise and qualify.




School Overview:

  • Sector Of Institution:
    Public, 2-year
  • Religious Affiliation:


  • Highest Level Of Offering:
    Associate's degree
  • Total Enrollments:
  • Adult Age Enrollments:
  • Percent Admitted:
    Open Admissions
  • Calendar System:



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