Riverland Community College

Two students walking with their backpacks.

Riverland is a community college inspiring personal success through education. Campuses in Albert Lea, Austin and Owatonna make it convenient to earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree or complete one of more than 50 career program options in accounting, business, business and office technology, construction, computer technology, health, management, manufacturing, service and transportation.

Riverland Community College
1900 8th Ave. N.W.
Austin, MN 55912

Toll-Free: (800) 247-5039
Local: (507) 433-0820

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City: Albert Lea
Population: 18,589

City: Austin
Population: 24,854

City: Owatonna
Population: 25,469

School highlights

Riverland is a comprehensive community college inspiring learning for living through a personalized educational environment.

  • Campuses in Albert Lea, Austin and Owatonna make it convenient to earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree or complete one of more than 50 career program options in accounting, business, business and office technology, construction, computer technology, health, management, manufacturing, service and transportation.
  • Support services are available to help students improve study skills, locate resources, address personal issues, make strong career decisions or arrange the details of a smooth college transfer.
  • More than 350 Riverland courses are offered entirely/partially online. Riverland has a growing number of online courses with or seeking Quality Matters certification, a peer review process designed to certify the quality of online courses. Currently, Riverland awards 12 degrees, diplomas and certificates via distance learning (online and interactive TV).
  • Big Day On Campus is for high school students to experience Riverland. Offered monthly during the school year, participants tour campus, hear about student life and meet faculty.
  • Riverland offers career options in renewable energy, including degrees in wind turbine technician and solar installation.
  • The college features a world-class health science education simulation center for nurses, radiographers and lab technicians.
  • Riverland is among a small group of community colleges in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system that offer an Associate in Fine Arts degree.

Student enrollment and demographics

  • Total number of students served: 4,658
  • Full-time students: 40.3%
  • Part-time students: 59.7%
  • Percent female: 53.9%
  • Percent male: 45.7%
  • Percent students of color: 15.9%

Largest programs

Liberal arts and sciences, nursing, human services, business, supervisory management, law enforcement, computer technology, accounting, business and office technology

Unique programs

Associate in Arts degree with business, global studies, music, physical education or theater emphasis; coaching; production technician; wind turbine technician; solar installer; supervisory management online


Riverland's student housing offers an opportunity for 84 students to live on the Austin campus.


  • Bus


  • Off-street


Admissions requirements

Riverland Community College has an open admissions policy. This means:

  • You can enroll if you have a high school diploma or a GED. Even without those, you may be admitted if you demonstrate potential for success in college.
  • You don’t have to take a standardized test to be admitted, and your high school grades and class rank are not considered.
  • After you are admitted, you will take a placement test. That will tell you if you need to take remedial or developmental courses, which will not count toward a degree, before you can take college-level courses. Many students need just one developmental course, often in math or English. If you have taken these subjects every year in high school, you are more likely to do well on the placement test.

You can complete your studies in less time and for less total cost if you come well prepared for college-level work, especially by taking math, English, science and social studies classes every year in high school. Also, some programs of study require more math and science, so your high school preparation makes a difference.

Apply early in 12th grade. That increases your chances of being admitted to the specific program you want when you enter college. Some programs are more popular than others and fill early.

Apply online

Using the e-application, you may apply to Riverland Community College and other schools in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.


Opportunity, choice, excellence
You’ll find lots of program choices and the top-quality education you want at an affordable cost. Personal attention from faculty and staff, real-world experiences and outstanding student support services all focus on helping you succeed. Be inspired and challenged as you prepare for your future career.

Program TitleAward
Mechanical and Electrical TechnicianCERT
Accounting ClerkDIP
Administrative AssistantAAS
Advanced Farm Business ManagementATC
Advanced Office SpecialistDIP
Agricultural Commodities MarketingCERT
Applied TechnologyAAS
Automation TechnologiesCERT
Automotive Industrial Machinist - Cylinder Block SpecialistCERT
Automotive Industrial Machinist - Cylinder Head SpecialistCERT
Automotive Service TechnologyDIP
Automotive Service TechnologyAAS
Basic SupervisionCERT
Carpentry TechnologyDIP
Cisco Network AssociateCERT
Collision Repair TechnologyDIP
Computer ApplicationsCERT
Computer TechnologyAAS
Computerizing Small BusinessDIP
Construction ElectricianDIP
Criminal Justice - CorrectionsDIP
Criminal Justice - CorrectionsAS
Criminal Justice - Law EnforcementAS
Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement Non-POSTAS
Customer RelationsCERT
Desktop PublishingCERT
Diesel TechnologyAAS
Diesel TechnologyDIP
Document SpecialistCERT
Electrical Maintenance TechnicianDIP
Emergency Medical Care ServicesCERT
Farm Business ManagementDIP
Fire Science TechnologyAAS
Fire ServicesCERT
Fundamentals of Network SecurityCERT
Fundamentals of Voice Over IPCERT
Fundamentals of Wireless LANsCERT
Global StudiesCERT
Hazard Analysis Critical Control PointCERT
Health Unit CoordinatorCERT
Home Health AideCERT
Human Resource DevelopmentCERT
Human ServicesAS
Industrial Maintenance and MechanicsDIP
Liberal Arts and SciencesAA
Machine TechnologistCERT
Manufacturing Technical SpecialistAAS
Manufacturing Technical SpecialistDIP
Massage TherapistDIP
Medical Administrative AssistantDIP
Medical Administrative AssistantAAS
Medical AssistantDIP
Medical ReceptionistCERT
Medical SecretaryDIP
Microsoft Office SpecialistCERT
Microsoft Office Specialist ExpertCERT
Microsoft Systems EngineerCERT
Natural Resources ConservationCERT
Network SecurityAAS
Non-Structural TechnicianCERT
Nursing (MANE)AS
Nursing AssistantCERT
Office AssistantCERT
Office Information SpecialistCERT
Office SpecialistDIP
Patient Care AssociateCERT
Pharmacy TechnologyDIP
Pharmacy TechnologyAS
Phlebotomy TechnicianCERT
Practical NursingDIP
Production Technician ICERT
Production TechnologiesCERT
Refinishing TechnicianCERT
Residential CarpentryDIP
Small Business ManagementDIP
Social Media MarketingCERT
Solar InstallerCERT
Structural Frame TechnicianCERT
Supervisory ManagementAAS
Supervisory ManagementCERT
Supervisory ManagementAS
Truck DrivingCERT
Web DeveloperAAS
Web DeveloperDIP
Web Developer: Game DesignCERT
Web Page DesignCERT
Welding TechnologyCERT
Wind Turbine TechnicianDIP
Program TitleAward
Accounting ClerkDIP
Automation TechnologiesCERT
Human Resource DevelopmentCERT
Liberal Arts and SciencesAA
Machine TechnologistCERT
Production TechnologiesCERT
Social Media MarketingCERT
Supervisory ManagementAAS
Supervisory ManagementCERT
Supervisory ManagementAS
Web DeveloperAAS
Web DeveloperDIP
Web Developer: Game DesignCERT
Web Page DesignCERT
Welding TechnologyCERT
The following degrees are available from this school:
  • Advanced Technical Certificate
  • Associate in Applied Science
  • Associate in Arts
  • Associate in Science
  • Associate of Fine Arts
  • Certificate
  • Diploma
advancedCoursesearchUrl Credit courses
courseEquivalencyUrl Course equivalency
noncreditUrl Non-credit courses


Tuition & finance

Tuition and Fees (2012-2013): $5,521

FAFSA Code: 002335

How to apply for financial aid

Your key to receiving financial aid to help pay your college costs is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA form. Many students don’t realize they could qualify for grant money and federally guaranteed loans, so be sure to find out by filling out the form.

Complete the FAFSA after Jan. 1 of your senior year. Find the form online at www.fafsa.ed.gov or pick up the form at your school counselor’s office. For help with completing the form, go to your high school counselor or the financial aid office at the college or university you plan to attend.

The FAFSA determines your eligibility for one or more of the following types of financial aid:

Scholarships are a great source of aid, and you do not need to pay them back. Many scholarships are available for students with special interests and backgrounds. Talk to your guidance counselor about what kind of scholarships you can get.

You may be eligible to receive federal and state grants of $300 to more than $7,000 per year. You do not need to pay these back.

Work study
Work study programs give you the opportunity to work on campus or with approved off-campus employers to earn money to pay for college. Work study jobs are often very flexible, allowing you to work around your classes and personal schedules.

Student loans
You also may be eligible for student loans, which must be paid back. Student loans usually have a lower interest rate than other kinds of loans.

Other ways to save

Reduced out-of-state tuition
Students from other states don’t always have to pay higher tuition if they want to attend the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. If you live in Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota or Manitoba, Canada, you’re eligible for tuition rates similar to those paid by Minnesota residents. And 26 of the state colleges and universities allow students from other states to pay the lower in-state rates, so ask a college or university about its tuition charges.

Tax credits
Some college students also benefit from two federal tax credit programs, the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning tax credit. These may apply to you or your family, depending on your financial circumstances.

Veterans are welcomed at the state colleges and universities. If you’ve served in the armed forces, you might be eligible for help with paying for college. Stop by one of the on-campus veterans centers for information, support and assistance. Also, check with the campus financial aid office about benefits from the new Minnesota GI Bill. Or go to www.mymilitaryeducation.org.

Campus life

College is more than textbooks, classes, labs and studying. Plenty of clubs and program-related organizations, sports and recreational activities help you meet new friends, develop leadership and team skills, stay fit and share the fun of working together on projects.

  • Academic Center
  • Bookstore
  • Career Services
  • Child Care Resources
  • Counseling Center
  • Disability Services
  • Diversity and Multiculturalism Center
  • Emergency Contact System
  • Financial Aid
  • Fitness Center
  • Food Service/Dining Services
  • International Student Services
  • Library
  • Scholarship Foundation
  • Security
  • Student Advising
  • Student Employment Services
  • Student Success Office
  • Technology Center
  • Transfer Assistance
  • Tutoring/Writing Services
  • Veterans Services
  • Enrollment Checklist
Arts and literature
  • Accent-A Literary Magazine
  • Left Ear-Art Club
Career and professional
  • Home Builders Association
  • Radiography Club
  • Riverland Nursing Forum
  • Skills USA
Community and human services
  • Human Services Club
Gender and sexuality
  • Gay/Straight Alliance
Honorary societies
  • Phi Theta Kappa
International students
  • International Club
  • International Friendship Club
Law enforcement and safety
  • Criminal Justice Society
Politics and society
  • Amnesty International
Religious and spiritual
  • Christian Fellowship
Social organizations
  • Gaming Club
  • Riverland Student Ambassadors
Student government
  • Student Senate
Theater, dance, music
  • Music-College Choir & Frequency
  • Theatre
  • Baseball
  • Basketball, Mens
  • Soccer, Mens
  • Basketball, Womens
  • Soccer, Womens
  • Softball
  • Volleyball