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FAQ: Dual Enrollment

Rio Salado College has over 20 years experience offering Dual Enrollment courses and is the only NACEP accredited program in the State of Arizona. Here are some FAQs from parents and students just like you:

How do Dual Enrollment Credits Transfer to My Future College or University?

Rio Salado College is the only community college in the state that is nationally accredited by NACEP National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships. ( With its national accreditation, Rio Salado College Dual Enrollment credits transfer to all Arizona public colleges and universities. Articulation agreements are in place with a variety of colleges outside Arizona. Since Rio Salado College is nationally accredited, many colleges outside the state accept dual enrollment credits.

Dual Enrollment or Advanced Placement?

Dual enrollment and advanced placement courses are both good options for students. The difference is dual enrollment students receive a grade and credit for the work performed throughout the year. These credits usually transfer to the student's college of choice as direct course equivalents.

Advanced Placement classes require students to pass the AP test to earn college credit. Credit is awarded solely on the students' performance on this one exam and may transfer to college only as an elective credit.

What are the Instructors’ Qualifications and Which Courses are Available?

High school faculty must be community college certified and are supported by the corresponding Rio Salado College faculty chair. Dual enrollment faculty members teach the community college curriculum, so students are assured of receiving a quality college experience.

Who is Eligible to Take Dual Enrollment Courses?

Dual enrollment students must meet the prerequisite criteria for the course or have a qualifying placement score by taking a free assessment test. Classes with no qualifying placement score require students to qualify for college admissions.

See Dual Placement PDF.

How do I Register?

The high school distributes information on accessing online Dual Enrollment registration information and forms, or students can go directly to and select their high school link. This web site contains all of the information needed to take advantage of this opportunity. Once completed, the registration form must be printed, signed and submitted through the high school contact.

How does Dual Enrollment Differ from Concurrent Enrollment?

Dual enrollment classes meet at the high school during the regular high school day and are taught by college certified high school instructors using a college curriculum and text. The high school agrees to accept these college courses toward a student's high school completion, if needed. Concurrent enrollment classes meet at a college site or online and are not affiliated with the high school. Students interested in Concurrent enrollment must submit a special admission form. Students need prior approval from their high school counselor or administration if they want these college courses to help satisfy high school requirements.

GPA Impact

High schools may opt to give dual enrollment courses a weighted grade (a 5.0 on a 4.0 scale). The high school registrar should have this information. Students are generally successful in transferring courses to other colleges and universities as well. It is recommended, however, that students confirm transferability of each dual enrollment course with their intended out-of-state college.

Tuition and Fees

Dual enrollment students pay the same tuition rate assessed for all Maricopa Community College courses. This is a significant savings over private and out-of-state colleges, and about one third the cost of comparable in-state university courses. Current tuition rates are listed in the registration materials. As an additional savings, dual students do not have to purchase textbooks or pay lab fees because these materials are generally provided by the high school.

Tuition Assistance

Some high schools offer tuition waivers for eligible students. If this option is not available from the high school, students may contact Rio Salado's Financial Aid Office to inquire about tuition assistance based on financial need. Funding is limited, so for the best chance of receiving tuition assistance, students should apply several weeks prior to the start of the course.

For all Other Questions

Please contact the Rio Salado College Dual Enrollment Department at (480) 517-8080.