Helpful Resources

At America's Online Community College®, we're proud to provide resources that can help you succeed.

Student Resources & Services

As a student at America's Online Community College®, you'll have access to a wide variety of resources that can you help you thrive during your educational journey. Technical support, instructional assistance, and a comprehensive & user-friendly course catalog are just a few of the things we offer to help enhance the Rio experience.

  • Book Advances

    The book advance is a pre-disbursement program that allows you to use a portion of your anticipated financial aid to purchase textbooks and supplies from any business. Each semester book advances are generated to eligible students to purchase textbooks and supplies for upcoming classes. The book advance funds are issued through the Maricopa Student Refund Program (MSRP) and will be issued no earlier than nine business days before the start of a semester. 

    You must meet the following qualifications to receive a book advance per semester:

    • The student must have a projected financial aid award

    • The student must be “Opted In” on their student center

    • The student must have an active enrollment

    • The financial aid award must be sufficient enough to cover their outstanding student account balance plus enough aid to receive a book advance based on enrollment levels

    • The book advance amount will be based on the financial aid award and the number of credits enrolled in at the time of the book advance disbursement. If any courses are dropped that result in less number of credits after the book advance disbursement this may result in student debt.

    • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) must be reviewed and eligibility determined. SAP evaluations occur approximately seven days after the prior semester’s course, with the latest end date, is completed. This will vary depending on each student's start and end date of all courses in that semester. Students should take this into consideration during course selections for future terms

    Students have the option to Opt In/Opt Out of Book Advances by logging into their Student Services Center and selecting Opt In/Out Book Advance in the Financial Aid section.

    NOTE: Only Opt In students will be disbursed a Book Advance.

    Deadline and Timelines

    It is the student's responsibility to ensure that he or she meets all financial aid terms and conditions to qualify to receive the Book Advance. If a student receives a book advance, and is subsequently determined to not have been eligible to receive it, then the student is responsible for returning those funds to Rio Salado College.

    2019-2020 Book Advance Amounts

    Semester Enrollment Level # of Credits Maximum Book Advance Amount for Semester
    Full Time 12 or More Credits $732*
    3/4 Time  9 to 11 Credits $549*
    1/2 Time 6 to 8 Credits $366*
    Less than 1/2 Time Less than 6 Credits $183*

    *To qualify for the maximum amount, students must have enough financial aid to cover their outstanding student account balance plus enough aid to also receive the maximum Book Advance amount.

  • Bookstore

    College bookstore supplying textbooks, course materials, collegiate apparel, & collectibles.  

    Phone: (480) 517-8710

  • Career & Counseling Services

    Rio offers counseling services as well as career preparation resources. Counselors are available Monday-Friday from 9 A.M.-5 P.M. MST.

    Phone: 480-517-8785

  • Catalog

    We have a comprehensive catalog of all our courses that includes information on the college's mission, policies, financial services, and more. We also have our past catalogs archived online in case you need to access a previous year's catalog.

  • Disability Services

    Rio Salado provides information, resources, and services which promote a successful learning experience for students with documented disabilities. Depending upon the disability and the resources Rio Salado has available, students with documented disabilities may receive accommodations that include, but are not limited to, sign language interpreters, text in alternative formats, readers/scribes, and extended test-taking time.

    Hours of Operation

    Disability Resources and Services

    Tempe Tower Tuesday & Thursday 9 A.M.-1 P.M (Appointments Recommended)
    Northern Wednesday 9 A.M.-12 P.M and 2 P.M.-4 P.M. (Appointments Recommended)


    Sign Up for Disability Services

    A student wishing to register for services must meet MCCCD admissions requirements, be enrolled as an MCCCD student, and must provide Disability Resources and Services (DRS) with required documentation verifying the nature and extent of the disability prior to receiving any accommodation. The DRS Manager is responsible for evaluating documentation and determining accommodation eligibility. Students must provide documentation that complies with all applicable requirements of the MCCCD Documentation Policy. If the DRS Manager advises a student that his/her documentation is incomplete, RSC reserves the right not to provide services or accommodations until all documentation specified in the Documentation Policy is provided. Students submitting only IEPs (Individual Educational Plans) or incomplete documentation, or if a particular accommodation request is not justified by the information provided in the student’s documentation, the student is responsible to pursue whatever additional documentation is required and to pay any costs thereof.

    Academic adjustments (accommodations) must be requested each semester even if you had them previously. Please note that every time DRS Connect asks for your "username" and your "student I.D" that these terms respectively refer to your MEID and your 8-digit student ID number. The "password" will be the same private password you created originally with your MEID. If you are a new student to Disability Resources and Services, please complete a new student application. 

    If you need any assistance with this process, please feel free to contact our office at (480) 517-8562.

    Service Animals

    For more information on Rio Salado College's service animal policy, please visit


    View the Maricopa Community Colleges Accommodations and Required Disability Documentation.

    Non-Discrimination Policy:

    The Non-Discrimination Policy can be found on the Maricopa County Community College District website. 

  • Graduation

    Celebrate your graduation by attending Commencement. Show off your achievements by applying for your diploma.

  • Honors

    Since its inception in academic year 1981-1982, the Honors Program at Rio Salado College has provided intellectually stimulating learning opportunities for academically outstanding students. The Program includes scholarships for scholarship eligible students, distinguished multidisciplinary classes, Honors Forum Lectures, and cultural events, including opportunities to attend Phoenix Symphony performances and free admission to the Phoenix Art Museum.

    The Honors Program theme for the 2018-2019 academic year is "Digital Frontiers."

    Students who have completed 12 or more college-level (100 or 200 level) credits at Rio Salado College or another MCCCD college with a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher may be eligible to join the Honors Program.

    The Honors Program also offers several scholarship opportunities to students who have lawful presence in the United States and live in Maricopa County (referred to as "in-county residency").

    Note: See detailed scholarship criteria by visiting the scholarship links in the left-hand side navigation.

    Rio Salado College Honors Program Outcomes

    An Honors Student at Rio Salado College will:

    Think Critically

    Critical thinking is exhibited by the ability to:

    • analyze and evaluate material by distinguishing between facts and opinions, judgments and inferences, inductive and deductive arguments, and objective and subjective materials;

    • generate questions, construct and recognize the structure of arguments, and support arguments adequately;

    • define, analyze, and devise solutions for new and different problems and issues;

    • collect, organize, classify, correlate, analyze and present materials and data;

    • integrate information from a diverse range of sources and media types, and identify relationships between information objects; and

    • critiquing their beliefs by remaining open to new information, methods, cultural systems, and diverse values and beliefs.

    Communicate Effectively

    Effective communication is exhibited by the ability to:

    • apply appropriate communication strategies for diverse audiences;

    • express ideas and concepts precisely and persuasively in multiple formats
      - and -

    • employ writing conventions suitable to research and/or creative processes.

    Demonstrate Integrity

    Integrity is exhibited by the ability to:

    • employ appropriate scholarly standards of conduct;

    • demonstrate respect for intellectual property by following the citation norms of a given discipline and engaging good digital citizenship practices; and

    • identify social issues and accept responsibility for active civic engagement.

    Prepare for Future Success

    Preparation is exhibited by the ability to:

    • demonstrate engagement as an informed, independent learner;

    • define and achieve educational/career objectives; and

    • demonstrate a commitment to life-long learning.

  • Instructional Helpdesk

    Our Instructional Helpdesk provides training and instructional support for adjunct faculty and assists students with instructional issues that may arise during their online classes.

    Hours of Operation: 

    Monday-Thursday 7:00 A.M.-5:30 P.M. MST

    Phone: 866-511-8380

  • Library

    Rio Salado has an extensive article & media database that our National students can access, along with a large collection of eBooks.

  • Non-Discrimination Policy

    The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District.

    The Maricopa County Community College District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities.  For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator:  (480) 731-8499.  For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

  • Ordering Transcripts

    All Maricopa Community College official transcripts will be processed by Credential Solutions.The cost of each official transcript will be $5.

    Note: Please make sure you verify that your grades are posted to your unofficial transcript (no fee) prior to ordering an official transcript. Grades posted in RioLearn may not yet be posted to your official transcript. It is a good idea to keep an unofficial copy of your transcripts for your records.

    Once you confirm that your final grade(s) are posted, you will need to order an official transcript to transfer the credits to another college or university.

    Transcripts will not be sent until the fee is paid. All courses taken within the Maricopa Community Colleges are automatically sent to other MCCCD colleges upon admittance and once your final grades are posted.

    Please make sure you verify that your grades are posted to your unofficial transcript (no fee) prior to ordering an official transcript. Grades posted in RioLearn may not yet be posted to your official transcript. It is a good idea to keep an unofficial copy of your transcripts for your records.

    Please Note:

    Students who wish to print a copy of an unofficial transcript may do so through the Student Center or at There is no charge for unofficial transcripts.

    • Official transcripts will not be issued to students having outstanding debts to any of the Maricopa Community Colleges.

    • Please verify that all grades have been posted in your Student Center. If you wish to have it not sent until a grade is posted, please mark "Hold for grades". Otherwise transcripts are sent with the grades that are included on the Maricopa Student Progress page.

    • Once the request has been received in Student Enrollment Services, the average processing time is 3-5 business days.

    • The release of transcripts is governed by the guidance of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.

  • Phi Theta Kappa

    Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society of two-year colleges. It is the largest honor society in American higher education with over 2 million members and more than 1,200 chapters located in all 50 states and abroad. The purpose of Phi Theta Kappa is to recognize and encourage scholarship while also promoting leadership, service, and fellowship.

    Alpha Theta Omicron is the Rio Salado chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. Members of Alpha Theta Omicron meet regularly to discuss chapter needs and concerns as we actively promote scholarship, leadership, service, and fellowship. Our chapter has an award-winning tradition and encourages new members to become involved. See below for contact information.

    What are the membership requirements?

    To be eligible for membership in Phi Theta Kappa, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5, have completed a minimum of 12 college credits, and be currently enrolled in at least one class with Rio Salado College. Additionally, there is a one-time membership fee of $95.00. This fee helps cover operating costs for Alpha Theta Omicron, Phi Theta Kappa for the Arizona region, and Phi Theta Kappa International.

    How do I join?

    If you think you meet the above criteria but have not been sent an invitation letter to join, please contact Rio's Phi Theta Kappa advisor at or 480-517-8656. The advisor can provide guidance as to how to enroll online or can provide an application for you to enroll.

    What are the benefits of membership in Phi Theta Kappa?

    The benefits of Phi Theta Kappa are many and diverse:

    • Membership in a prestigious organization

    • The right to designate membership on job and college applications

    • Scholarship opportunities

    • Opportunities for service in the community

    • Opportunities for fellowship and interaction with college students

    • Enrollment in PTK Connect—a college transfer planning program

    • Access to the Five Star Competitive Edge professional development program

    • Membership certificate, identification card, and membership pin

    • Gold seal on diploma, notation on transcript, and the opportunity to purchase a PTK stole and tassel for graduation

    • Letters of recommendation to potential employers and college admissions counselors

  • Prerequisite Evaluation

    Would you like to enroll for a course that has a prerequisite? It’s simple to do.

    Individuals who have successfully completed courses at other U.S. regionally accredited universities and colleges and/or ACE evaluated programs and credits who would like to enroll in a Rio Salado class which requires a prerequisite must request an evaluation of these courses. The purpose of this is to establish equivalency with Rio Salado College. Coursework from other institutions may be considered for evaluation on a case-by-case basis.

    Individuals who would like to enroll in a course that requires provisional or standard elementary, secondary, or special education teaching certificate will need to send a copy of their teaching certification to Rio Salado.

    Upon completion of the prerequisite verification you will be notified and enrolled (if it is determined that you have satisfied the prerequisite requirement). Typically requests are processed within a day however during busy times processing time can take up to 72 hours.

  • RioCompass

    Rio Salado College has online tools to help you track your academic progress in RioCompass and your Degree Progress Report in your Student Center at Your academic advisor can help you make a plan for your educational and career goals using these tools.

    Beginning July 1, 2019 the Degree Progress Report will take the place of RioCompass checksheets (existing checksheets will still be available). In order for your classes taken outside of Maricopa Community Colleges to appear on your Degree Progress Report (pending evaluation), you must have all your official transcripts sent directly from your institution to Rio Salado College. The evaluation process may take up to 10 business days upon receipt of your transcripts.

    RioCompass helps you keep track of your academic progress with a semester by semester plan and has contact information for your assigned advisor. If you have been admitted to Rio Salado College you may access RioCompass through RioLearn.

    1. Go to and log in with your username (your MEID) and password or follow the instructions for new users.

    2. Click on the RioCompass icon.

    If you are a first-time student with the Maricopa Community Colleges, please visit Start at Rio

  • Software Download

    If you do not have the following applications, you may need to download them to complete your courses successfully. We have free downloads available for these programs:

    • MS Office 365 ProPlus
    • RealOne Media
    • Internet Explorer
    • Opera
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader
    • Adobe Flash Player
  • Student Identity Verification

    Students Living Outside the State of Arizona

    You are required to verify your identity before you are eligible for financial aid disbursements and tuition refunds.

    How to Submit

    Rio Salado College accepts documents online, in-person or by mail. Documents must be submitted in color. We do not accept documents by fax. Note that processing time is 3-5 business days.

    • Online

    • In Person or by Mail:
      Rio Salado College
      Admissions, Records and Registration
      2323 W. 14th Street
      Tempe AZ 85281

    Acceptable Documentation for Lawful Presence and ID Authentication


  • Student Solution Center

    Rio Salado College is dedicated to providing a quality learning experience to our students. Students who feel that they have been treated unfairly or unjustly are encouraged to use this webpage to raise issues to our attention in accordance with the MCCCD administrative regulations.

    Instructional Complaint

    The Instructional HelpDesk assists students with instructional issues that may arise during their course.

    Contact Information:

    • 866-511-8380, 480-517-8380


    For students contesting a grade, contact the faculty member involved.

    Non-Instructional Complaint

    The Conduct and Community Standards Office responds to all non-instructional challenges and concerns a student may encounter while attending Rio Salado College.

    Contact Information:

    • 480-517-8749


    Discrimination, Harassment or Sexual Misconduct Complaints

    Contact Rio Salado College Title IX/504 Coordinator with any discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct complaints.

    Contact Information

    • Sara J Singleton


    Other Resources

    • Students located in a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) state may submit a complaint to the Arizona SARA portal entity. Further information is available on the State Authorization webpage.

    • Students may follow the Higher Learning Commission’s complaint process when submitting a complaint, after first using the College’s internal grievance procedures.

    Administrative Regulation Links

  • Technology Helpdesk

    Rio Salado's Technology Helpdesk is available to help you work through some of the technological barriers that may come up during your online experience.  Assistance is available through a combination of service centers to better serve you!

    Technology FAQ

    What Hardware & Software Will I Need?

    Pop-up Blocker Information

    Forgot Your Username & Password?


    Technology Support Helpdesk Hours of Operation

    Monday-Thursday 7 A.M.-8 P.M. MST

    Friday-Saturday 8 A.M.-5 P.M. MST

  • Tutoring

    Enhance Your Learning Experience with Tutoring

    See a tutor if you:

    • Need some assistance understanding concepts

    • Are having problems solving homework and assignments

    • Want to learn study skills and strategies

    • Are preparing for upcoming exams

    In preparation for your tutoring session, please bring the following:

    • Textbooks

    • Class notes

    • Past quizzes or tests that your instructor has authorized you to have

    • Course syllabus

    • Homework or workbook problems (indicate what you have been able to complete yourself since tutors cannot go over every problem in every assignment)

    Tutors Cannot:

    • Do a student’s homework or assignments

    • Make up for missed classes/assignments/prerequisite courses

    • Help with tests (including take-home or make-up tests)

    • Provide line-by-line correcting, editing, proofreading, or translating

    • Teach material not included in the coursework

    • Cover a semester’s worth of work in days prior to final exams

    Online Tutoring Questions:


    How do I get tutored online?

    Rio Salado has contracted with to provide an online tutoring service.

    What are online tutoring hours?

    Online tutoring hours vary by subject. The link to the online tutoring hours is posted on the "Brainfuse" webpage.

    Do online tutors have my textbook and access to my class?

    Online tutors do not have your textbook or access to your class; however, they have advanced degrees in the subjects they tutor and are able to answer your questions regarding the course content. If you have questions about the assignment, such as where the links are, or what the expectations are, etc., you will need to contact your instructor.


  • Useful Documents and Forms

    The forms you need for Admissions, Registration, Records, and Financial Aid in one place.

Your Online Classroom

See for yourself what an online education at Rio Salado looks like with our RioLearn demo. RioLearn is our online learning platform: a place where you can take your classes, interact with your instructors, and track your academic progress.