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Discover Ways to Pay for School

Illustration of graduation cap full of money, scholarship or loan, concept of tuition with text: 5 Ways To Pay For School

Discover Ways to Pay for School


Furthering your education is always a good idea. Learning new skills and broadening your base of knowledge can help you advance in your career or pivot into a new field. Time spent on education is time spent wisely; investing in yourself pays off in the long run. Sometimes paying for college can be a challenge, which is why Rio Salado College offers several different ways to help pay for your education.

Get Started with Financial Aid

Financial aid is available in many forms such as grants, scholarships and loans. Whether or not you receive financial aid will depend on your demonstrated financial need and other eligibility requirements. Financial aid can help students supplement their ability to pay for college costs, including::

  • Tuition/fees,
  • Books/supplies,
  • Transportation.

Like most forms of financial assistance for education, you’ll need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for aid. The FAFSA is based on the applicant’s prior year federal income tax return and also takes other household assets into consideration. 

You'll need a few pieces of information to fill out your FAFSA:   

  • Federal income tax return.  
  • Social Security number.   
  • Driver's license number (if you have one).
  • Records of your assets: savings & checking account balances; value of investments (including stocks, bonds, and real estate that doesn't include your primary residence).

You'll also need to create a FSA ID, which is the account username and password you'll use to log in and complete the FAFSA process. It's best to do this early because it can take up to three days before you can use your FSA ID.

Once you complete your FASFA, that lays the groundwork for determining your eligibility for a number of options, including these listed below.


Student loans are an option for paying for schools. These loans tend to feature lower interest rates and must be repaid after college. The college does not participate in private education loans—the loans are assessed by the federal government.There are three types of loans: 

In order to be eligible for a loan, you must fill out your FAFSA and be enrolled at least half time (6 credit hours or more per semester). You can learn more about student loan terms and conditions here. For the most current information about loan interest rates and fees, please visit


Another option for financial assistance is grants. Grants are a way to help students with exceptional financial need pay for their education. Unlike loans, grants do not have to be repaid (with some exceptions). One thing that grants do share with loans: you have to fill out a FAFSA in order to be eligible to apply for grants.

Grant Types:


The Maricopa Community College District and the Maricopa Foundation offer scholarships for students in financial need.  These scholarships are available to students involved in a wide variety of majors, backgrounds, and interests; varying levels of financial need and academic success are also taken into consideration. Both the District and the Foundation have different requirements for their scholarships—check their sites for more information on the scholarships they offer.

Many non-profit groups and community organizations also offer scholarship opportunities. Many non-profit groups and community organizations also offer scholarship opportunities. There are several online resources to find scholarships (one important note: avoid scholarship opportunities and resources that require a fee to access). If you’re a veteran, keep in mind that there are scholarships available to people who have served

Self Pay

If you find you don’t qualify for loans, grants, federal work study, or scholarships - or perhaps the funds you receive are not quite enough - students can always self pay. You can work with our Financial Aid office to set up the best path to meet your educational needs.

We’re Here To Help

Do you have questions about financial aid? Our Financial Aid office is here to help. Call 480-731-8900. Our office is open in the fall and spring for in-person service Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Phone service hours are Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

The Financial Aid Office also has a Virtual Online Chat available Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Zoom link:  Click link to Chat with Financial Aid Services

You can also dial in using these phone numbers.

        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID:  977 895 2493

Passcode: E447XT

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