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American River College: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Research the certificate and degree programs offered at American River College in Sacramento, California. Learn about its academics, and get admission and financial aid information to decide if this is the right school for you.

About American River College

American River College (ARC) is a 2-year public community college located in the suburban city of Sacramento, California, the state's capital. The college has undergone several changes over the last 70 years and has been part of the Los Rios Community College District since 1965. Four additional learning centers located throughout the city provide students with increased educational opportunities. Many famous people have graduated from ARC as well, including TV host Guy Fieri and the Green Bay Packers' cornerback Jarrett Bush.


ARC offers students a large assortment of certificate and associate's degree programs separated into general divisions or areas of study. The available fields of study range from accounting and anthropology to theatre arts and welding technology. Three types of online courses are available to most students as well, including regular online, web-enhanced and hybrid classes. An accelerated 8-week program for working adults seeking an associate's degree is also available. Several student service centers, including a career and learning center, add to the assortment of educational resources open to ARC students. The ARC Library offers an online library, as well as help through the librarian.

Students have the option of joining several student organizations, as well as various religious, ethnic heritage and degree specific clubs. ARC has 20 men's and women's varsity sports teams, including track and field, basketball and water polo, which are a big part of campus life.


Admission procedures and requirements vary per student type (freshmen, transfer, international), though all applicants use the same Los Rios Community College District application. Online and paper applications are accepted. ARC's open admissions policy gives students the option of beginning their studies in the fall or spring semester. In most cases, prospective students must complete an assessment test, attend orientation and see a counselor before registering for classes and paying tuition.

All of ARC's students are undergraduates. In 2011, there were 31,750 enrolled students. Of those, 54% of students were women, and the largest ethnic group was White (44%). Hispanics/Latinos (16%) make up the next largest ethnic group. About 76% of all students were enrolled part-time, and 54% of students in 2011 were over the age of 25.

Tuition & Financial Aid

An in-state resident's tuition was $46 per unit, and did not include books, supplies and other expenses in the 2012. The cost per unit for out-of-state residents and international students was $254 per unit. Students are also required to pay a student representation fee ($1 per semester) and a transit pass fee that varies in cost depending on the number of units taken.

Federal loans, grants and work-study are available to qualifying students by filling out the FAFSA application. The Pell Grant and the Cal Grant are also available through the FAFSA. The ARC Foundation offers over 170 additional need-based and academic scholarships every spring semester. To have access to the $150,000 in funds, students must have a minimum of six units to fill out the separate scholarship application, which is only available from the beginning of January to the end of the February.

School Type 2-year, public**
Degrees Offered Certificate, associate's*
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semester*
School Setting Large suburb**
Student Body 31,750 undergraduates in 2011**
Student Housing No**
Student-Faculty Ratio 28 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011
Certificate (<1 year): Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science, General (64)
Certificate (1 to <2 year): Carpentry/Carpenter (95) Carpentry (95)
Associate's: Liberal Arts and Sciences (594)
Certificate (2 to<4 year): Automobile/Automotive Mechanics Technology/Technician (4)**
Graduation Rates Students who began in fall 2007:
7% in normal time
21% in 150% of normal time
29% in 2x normal time**
First-Year Retention Rates From 2010-2011:
71% for full-time and 41% for part-time students**
Application Due Date Open admissions*
Tuition (2012) $46 per unit for in-state residents
$254 per unit for out-of-state residents and international students*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2010-2011: federal loans (10%), Pell Grants (54%), state grants (71%), institutional scholarships (2%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 72% in 2011**

Sources: *American River College; **College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: 4700 College Oak Dr., Sacramento, California 95841
  • Phone: (916) 484-8011
  • Website:

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