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First Time Students

Steps to Success for New Students (For assistance with completion of these steps please visit the Connect Center in the Welcome and Support Center) 

Step 1. Apply to ARC

Get started on your path to college by filling out our free online application. You will be automatically accepted if you have a high school diploma (or equivalent) or are at least 18 years old. Once you are accepted, we will email you a student ID number and instructions for next steps. All first-time, returning/transfer, and high-school students must submit an online application. Continuing students must submit a supplemental enrollment form each term.   The application to attend American River College is available on the college website at:  

Step 2. Get Financial Help  
With the new Los Rios Promise, all first-time students who complete a FAFSA (or California Dream Act application) and enroll full time (minimum of 12 units) are eligible for free tuition. Links to FAFSA and CDAA are below.  

In addition to the Los Rios Promise, there are several other ways to get financial assistance if you need help paying for college. You may qualify for thousands of dollars in aid from federal, state, and private resources. Types of financial aid include fee waivers, grants, scholarships, and loans.  

For more information, visit:  

Step 3. Complete Orientation
Orientation provides new students with vital information about college programs, services and resources. All first-time, returning/transfer, and high-school students are required to complete the in-person orientation where students will be offered guidance on the course selection process so that they know which classes to enroll in during their first semester.  

New student orientation may also be completed online at any time at: Assistance is available with this step on the ARC main campus in the Connect Center in the Welcome and Support Center building. 

Step 4. Place into the Right Classes
To help ensure your success, you will be placed in English and math classes that match your skill level.

Use high school records for placement
You will be automatically placed into English and math classes if you:

You can view your placement results in your eServices account. From your eServices dashboard, click Student Center, then Steps to Success. Your placements are displayed in the Assessment Placements section.  

Go to ARC's Assessment Center for placement
If you graduated from a US high school within the last ten years but you did not report your high school information on your college application, then you can bring your high school transcripts to your college's Assessment Center to receive your course placements in English and math. Click this link for more information.  

Use college records for placement
If you have attended another college (outside of Los Rios), then you can provide college transcripts showing that you passed certain classes. Additional forms may be necessary depending on the college and course.  

Use guided self-placement
If you did not complete high school or have been out of high school for more than ten years, then you should use the guided self-placement process to figure out what English and math courses to take. The guided self-placement tool will be available in early March 2019. Visit your college's assessment center webpage to find the guided self-placement tool: ARC Assessment Center  

English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment
If you are still learning English, then you can go to your college's Assessment Center to take the ESL assessment test, which will place you in an ESL class that matches your skill level. Click this link to view our testing calendar.  

Step 5. Make an Educational Plan
An educational plan is an important part of the planning process for all students to help ensure that students are enrolled in the classes necessary to complete a program of study. During the in-person orientation (Step 3), students will be offered guidance on the course selection process so that they know which classes they should enroll in during their first semester.   

During the first semester at ARC, all students should see a counselor to complete a comprehensive educational plan, which will provide direction on courses needed to complete a program of study and/or educational goal.   

Step 6. Enroll in Classes
Registration is by priority assignment for students completing all of the Steps to Success by April 1 for summer/fall and November 1 for spring. Open registration begins approximately three weeks after the start of priority registration.  

For information on specific dates and times for priority and open registration, please contact Admissions & Transition Services at (916) 484-8261. Please note that it is not possible for the college to offer every course of instruction every semester, and therefore some of the classes listed in this catalog may not be offered in any given term. Check the Schedule of Classes to determine if a class is to be offered in a given term.  

Students who are brand new to college may enroll in classes, also called registering for classes, based on when the Steps to Success are completed. Priority registration is available for veterans, disabled students, students receiving CalWORKs, and those who are enrolled in EOP&S/CARE/NextUp and foster youth. Refer to the Student Resources section of the college catalog for more information.