Planning How to Pay for College? Here are a Few Resources to Help You Save Money & Time


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Thursday, February 22, 2024
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Continuing your education is one of the best investments you can make. Learning new skills and widening your knowledge base can open up a world of opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. Don’t let the cost of tuition be a barrier to your personal development: there are many different resources and avenues available to help you pay for college.

We recently launched a page on our site that’s devoted to pointing out the different ways you can save time and money. Below are a few resources to help you get started. 

First Things First: FAFSA

You can save yourself a lot of headaches by putting “apply for FAFSA” on the top of your list. FAFSA stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is a form you need to complete to apply for federally funded student aid, grants, work-study funds, and loans. You will also have to make sure your FAFSA is up to date in order to qualify for financial aid and certain kinds of scholarships. That means you need to complete a new FAFSA annually or it will lapse. 

Applying for FAFSA is free (do not trust any site or service that makes you pay for it!). The Rio Salado FAFSA school code is 014483. Keep in mind that if you are being supported by parents or a spouse, they will also need to set up a account.

Tuition Rates

Keep an eye on our tuition and fees page for the most current information about paying for your education. Tuition and fees are subject to change, so it’s important to do your due diligence and check the current rates when you’re planning out your next semester’s worth of classes. Rio Salado’s affordable tuition rate varies depending on whether you’re in or out-of-state, a Maricopa resident, a senior citizen, or are a part of the Western Undergraduate Exchange Program (WUE).

Net Price Calculator

Need a tool that can help you estimate your financial aid award and work out the total cost of attending any of the Maricopa Community Colleges? Our Net Price Calculator is a free resource that can help you ballpark the costs of attending Rio Salado. Please remember that the net price can vary significantly based on a student's eligibility.

Financial Aid

Navigating the in’s and out’s of financial aid can be tricky, but don’t despair: Rio Salado’s Financial Aid Office is here to help! You can chat with our live support team Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. The office at our Tempe campus is open from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday. You can also reach out to Financial Aid by calling 480-731-8900.


Each year the Maricopa Colleges Foundation offers scholarships to eligible students. The application window for 2024-25 opens on March 1. Keep an eye on the Foundation site and make sure you submit your application before the deadline. 

The Rio Salado site has a scholarship page portal that can help you find scholarships and other resources to help pay for your schooling. High achieving students should also look in academic-based scholarships available through Rio Salado. You’ll also want to look at state and city government websites: there’s often scholarship opportunities available to residents with demonstrable need.

No Time Like the Present

Ready to get started? You don’t have to wait for the seasons to change to kick off your next semester at Rio Salado. With over 40+ start dates a year, you could be in class as soon as next week. Check out this video series to see how you can get admitted at Rio. Already admitted and eager to enroll in your next class? We also have a video breaking down how to enroll and add classes at Rio.



Article by Austin Brietta