Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Save gas, time, money with online classes


Ready to register for fall college classes but with the economy on the skids not sure if you can afford it? Looking for some big savings so you can hit the books?

Around the nation would-be students are stymied by the cost of a college education in today’s economy. They are struggling just to pay for gasoline, groceries and other necessities. At the same time furthering their education can be the key to creating better lives for themselves and their families.

Rio Salado College, partnering with Pearson Custom Publishing and Follett Higher Education Group, has found an innovative way to dramatically decrease college costs.

The Textbook Savings Program reduces students’ costs to buy a new, customized textbook for courses by 50 percent, leaving extra funds to pay for more classes, gasoline and other living expenses.

The first program of its kind in the United States, it allows Rio Salado students to pay for only the material they will need for their courses.

“It’s a guaranteed savings upfront,” Carol Scarafiotti, Rio Salado’s executive consultant for online learning and vice president emeritus said. “People who think they can’t afford college may want to take a second look, whether they are young students or mothers or fathers” returning to college, Scarafiotti said.

The Textbook Savings Program is just one way Rio Salado, a pioneer in online education, saves students time, money and travel time. At only $71 per credit hour for Maricopa County residents, with 450 online classes to choose from, Rio Salado is the college within everyone’s reach!®

The savings start before students even step into the online classroom.
Students can purchase the customized textbooks in English 101, Biology 201 and 202, History 103 and 104, Communications 110 and other popular, required courses. Faculty decides what material is needed and the textbooks are “designed to align with the courses we teach,” Scarafiotti said.

The program will cover about 90 percent of the textbooks used in Rio Salado classes.

Rio students would only pay $41.50 on a customized English 101/102 textbook that would cost $117.50 to purchase the entire edition from a typical community college. Rio Salado provides a customized Biology 160 textbook for only $80 compared to $151 to buy the non-tailored textbook outside of the college.

Combine that with the tremendous savings students accumulate taking classes online rather than paying astronomical prices at the gasoline pump and it all adds up to great savings.

For example a Rio Salado student can take Biology 160 three days a week online. At an on-site community college that same student would likely spend nearly $300 in gasoline just to drive to a campus within 15 miles of their home and would have to shell out $151 to buy the non-customized biology textbook. Doing it the Rio way saves that online student about $370 in gasoline and textbook costs.

A leader among custom publishers for more than 30 years, Pearson Custom Publishing is part of Pearson Education’s Higher Education group.

The largest of the 10 Maricopa Community colleges, Rio Salado offers 450 online classes to more than 26,000 online students. It is one of the nation’s largest providers of certifications. The college offers degrees and certificates in education, business, healthcare, law enforcement and other areas. New classes start every Monday. For more information and to register visit 480-517-8540 or www.riosalado.edu/registration.

Traditional community college: Tuition: $284 for Biology 160, Textbook:
$151 (non-customized), Gasoline: $295.20 for 16 weeks (15 miles each way with gas at $4.10 a gallon)

Rio Salado College: Tuition: $284 for Biology 160, Textbook: $80 (Rio customized)
Gasoline: Zero for online classes!