Riley-Collins earned a bachelor’s from Alcorn State University, Texas in 1987, and a master’s in criminal justice administration from the University of Central Texas in 1993. She also received a Juris Doctor from Mississippi College School of Law in 1999. Riley-Collins also has a history of service. From 1985 to 1999, she served in the U.S. Army where she was promoted to the rank of colonel. From 1999 to 2017, she was also a U.S. Army Reserve member and a member the U.S. National Guard. From 1999 to 2017, she was also a member the U.S. Army Reserve and U.S. National Guard.