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Ability to Benefit (ATB) Test

2012-2013 Student Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements began July 1, 2012:
For those NEW students who do not have a High School Diploma or GED: The U.S. Dept. of Education eliminated the Ability To Benefit (ATB) testing as a way to acquire financial aid eligibility. View updated Eligibility Requirements on the Student Financial Services Consumer Guide.

If you do not have a high school diploma or G.E.D. and will be seeking Federal Financial Aid, the Federal Government requires that you demonstrate the ability to benefit from college coursework. First implemented in 1996, this Ability to Benefit legislation is the Federal Government's response to an alarming number of students who failed to repay their student loans.

RCCD uses the Accuplacer Online test for your Ability to Benefit evaluation. Access the Accuplacer Online information. So, if you are taking the test to fulfill your requirement as a new or returning student, you will automatically be evaluated for Ability to Benefit purposes if:

  • You indicate you do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and
  • You indicate you are interested in applying for or have already applied for financial aid.

By achieving a minimum score on an approved test, the student demonstrates that s/he has the potential to benefit from college coursework. At the end of your test, you should discuss your Ability to Benefit results with an Educational Advisor in Assessment. The Educational Advisor will tell you your next steps.

Each student has three attempts at meeting the Ability to Benefit requirements.

  • The first initial attempt is usually also the student's Assessment Test taken as a first-time student.
  • If the student does not meet Ability to Benefit criteria on the first attempt, s/he will need to make an appointment with the Educational Advisor in Assessment to re-test.
  • If the second attempt is also unsuccessful, the student still has one last chance. The student must enroll in developmental classes (such as English 60A, Math 51 or Reading Skills 81) that will help them acquire the skills they need to meet the critieria. Then, after satisfactory coursework is completed, the student must see a Student Financial Services Counselor. The counselor will evaluate the situation and make the choice when to grant the student a third attempt.

This third attempt is by Student Financial Services Counselor referral only.