2012-13 Rio Salado Information
Brophy’s “Dual Enrollment Program” with Rio Salado College
Many upper division Brophy courses are available for college credit through Rio Salado College via what’s called their “dual enrollment program,” which literally means that the student is dually enrolled both as a Brophy student and as a community college student. Certain Brophy courses qualify for both high school credit toward Brophy’s graduation requirement, and also Maricopa Community College credit through Rio Salado College. Students taking those Brophy courses who qualify for admission to the college and to the course can thus enroll in Rio Salado as a student, and register for an additional fee to get community college credit for the course. For example, a student can take Honors Chemistry at Brophy as a lab science credit, but if he qualifies through Rio Salado for the community college credit, he can pay and get 4 credits for Chem 130 (3 credits) and the Chem 130 lab (1 credit).
Benefits of Dual Enrollment
The benefits of dual enrollment can be twofold, and both center on the transcript of community college credits that the student obtains through the dual enrollment program. The first benefit is cost savings. While a student has to pay Rio Salado now to register for the community college credit, the per-credit charge for those courses is drastically less than equivalent courses at the university level. For example, a senior at Brophy who takes Senior Composition—which transfers into the AZ state universities as English 101—will pay $76 a credit + a registration fee totaling $243 for the 3-credit class. The same class on average at an in-state university is $428 a credit, which is over $1200 for the course, and that doesn’t include books or fees. This other benefit is that students can begin their university career with credits in tow—think of it as transferring to a university from a community college. Thus, the student has the option either to potentially reduce the number of semesters—and the accompanying cost—he has to stay at the university, or to fill that time with courses he wants to take, which could result in another major or perhaps even another degree.
Are There Drawbacks to Dual Enrollment?
Obviously cost is a drawback. Brophy is an expensive school, and to pay even $76 a credit to Rio Salado College just adds to that expense. The other potential drawback is the “transferability” of the credits. For students that have a pretty good likelihood of staying in-state for university, the transfer question becomes much more lucid. In fact, Rio Salado publishes a credit transfer web page wherein students and parents can research how dual enrollment credits will transfer into those universities.
For students thinking strongly about going out of state, what we’ve found is that most universities recognize Rio Salado credits as they would any other community college; they may transfer in as certain elective credits, but most take them and students begin their university career with credits in hand. While we haven’t come across many, we have had certain universities—mostly elite universities that might not even accept much AP credit—turn students down.
Our recommendation is that if you’re thinking of going out of state, call the admissions office of one or two “sample” universities that you might consider, and ask about transfer of community college credits, explain the dual enrollment piece, and see if you can get some clarity.
Brophy can’t promise which universities will accept which courses for what credit. But anecdotal evidence has shown us (as well as many other high schools in the area, Xavier included) that students are getting credit at most of their university destinations, and are happy to be saving money, time, or both. Still, it’s incumbent upon parents and students to do some research on the front end and make the best decision for your individual context. Brophy doesn’t push Rio Salado, but does avail it if it works for your family’s context.
What’s the Next Step if We Are Interested in Registering?
There are three basic steps to registering, but the process can feel cumbersome if you don’t pay careful attention to Rio’s dual enrollment website. The best advice is to read everything before beginning the process. The three basic steps are:
- Look over the list of dual enrollment courses at Brophy and ascertain which are on your Brophy schedule that you want to take. Note course #s and section #s, as well as whether you need pre-requisites.
- Register as a Rio Salado College student, either “new” (never before have taken a course), or “Returning” (have taken a Rio course), and sign up for your courses. A very helpful tutorial greets you after you click one or the other; we highlyrecommend it. When you’re done, print three required forms:
- Registration Request Summary
- Designated Official Form
- Payment Options Page
- After selecting classes, students must complete registration process by following instructions in red at the top of the page. Click Continue to the Student Information form, and then click Submit Application after completed. This is submitted electronically and doesn’t need to be printed.
- Those seeking information on tuition assistance, info is here, but that process was closed last spring, unfortunately. Rio’s new process is to have financial aid processes completed the spring before the next year.
- Bring 1) your printed registration packet, 2) a photocopy of one of the following: a US birth certificate, Driver License, US Passport, or Residency card if a Permanent Resident, and a check made out to Rio Salado if you don’t want to pay by credit card or be billed, to Mrs. Leslie Hanson in Brophy’s Info Commons no later than Monday, August 27.
- If you need to take a placement test, your registration information won’t be complete until you do so. You can see pre-reqs on the course list, and test at a Rio testing center if necessary. Mrs. Hanson can help answer as to whether it’s necessary if there’s confusion.
Once you’re registered, you will be in Rio Salado’s database as a student, and will be able to access official transcripts upon completion of courses.
Should you have any questions at all, please contact Mrs. Leslie Hanson at email@example.com, or at 602-264-5291 ext. 6352.