Ability to Benefit Program (ATB)

No high school diploma? No problem!

The Ability to Benefit program gives eligible adult learners the opportunity to begin taking college credit courses for select in-demand careers, even though they do not have a high school diploma yet! The program also helps them to gain early access to federal student aid.

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Prospective students must meet the following criteria to participate in the Ability to Benefit program:

  • Must be eligible for federal student aid
  • Must be a Texas resident (living in Texas for at least 12 months)
  • Must NOT have a high school diploma or GED
  • Must NOT be TSI complete (if complete in one area, that is OK)
  • Must NOT be on an F, B, or J visa
  • ESL students ONLY: must have completed ESL 4

Step 1 - Screening

The first step is enrollment in a pre-college seminar class. The class covers a variety of college readiness topics and includes career exploration. Upon successful completion of this class, students are ready to enroll into college credit courses. If you are a current HSE student and interested in ATB, please reach out to us at cpw@austincc.edu.   

Step 2 - Registration

As a new Ability to Benefit student, you will select a level 1 certificate program to pursue from the list below. The Ability to Benefit coordinator will work with you to complete the remainder of the registration process. The cost of your first two college credit courses, required textbooks/equipment for those two courses will be paid for by Career Pathways. ACC students are also eligible for a FREE Capital Metro Green Pass.

While in the Ability to Benefit program, you are responsible for:

  • checking your ACC email regularly (once per day is recommended)
  • responding to all communications from your program coordinator
  • arriving to/joining class on time
  • active participation in your class(es)
  • completing your assignments according to deadlines
  • attending support classes/workshops

If you are unable to meet these requirements, you may be ineligible to continue in the program.

Step 3 - Study, Sleep, Class, Repeat!

Upon successful completion of your first two college credit courses (earning a grade of C or above), you may begin accessing financial aid funding to pay for your remaining certificate courses and materials. If you already have a high school diploma or equivalency certificate, please consider the Level Up program or contact an Adult Education advisor to explore other options.

Level 1 Certificate Options

Business Pathways

Computer Science & Information Technology Pathways

Design, Manufacturing, Construction, and Applied Technologies Pathways

Note: A prior criminal conviction could keep you from obtaining the state license required for certain careers. If you have a question about your background and licensure, contact Career Pathways staff to setup an appointment.  You also have the right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the applicable licensing agency.