Ability to Benefit Program

The Ability to Benefit application is currently CLOSED. The application will reopen on JULY 8TH for FALL 2024 classes.

No High School Diploma? No Problem!

The Ability to Benefit Program gives eligible adult learners the opportunity to take 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.

Are You Eligible?

To participate in the Ability to Benefit program, you must:

  • Be eligible for federal student aid
  • Be a Texas resident (living in Texas for at least 12 months)
  • Reside within the ACC Service Area
  • Not have a high school diploma or GED
  • Not be TSI-complete (if you are complete in one area, that is okay)
  • Not be on an F, B, or J visa
  • Have completed ESL 4 (ESL students only)

Step 1 – Screening

You must first enroll in a pre-college seminar class. The class covers a variety of college readiness topics and also includes career exploration. Upon successful completion of this class, you will be ready to enroll into college credit courses. If you are a current High School Equivalency student and interested in the Ability to Benefit Program, 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 to pursue from the list below. The Ability to Benefit coordinator will work with you to complete the registration process. The cost of your first two college credit courses and any required textbooks/materials 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 expected to:

  • Check your ACC email regularly (once per day is recommended)
  • Arrive to/join class on time
  • Actively participate in class
  • Complete assignments according to deadlines
  • Attend 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 successfully completing your first two college credit courses (earning a grade of C or above), you may begin accessing financial aid 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.

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