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Eligibility Requirements

Financial Aid

You must meet the following requirements to qualify for financial aid.

  • Be a U.S. Citizen or an eligible non-citizen. Undocumented students may qualify for the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA).
  • Student must demonstrate financial need.
  • Have a High School diploma or GED certificate.
  • Be enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program. Associate Degree or Certificate of Completion meeting regulatory requirements. Most programs at EPCC are considered “eligible,” but verifying that with the Financial Aid Office is a good idea.
  • Registered with Selective Services, if applicable.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Not receive financial aid at two schools during the same semester.

Note: Certificate Programs not leading to an Associate Degree at EPCC; we are required to calculate your enrollment based on a formula provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

Admission Status

  • Individuals admitted as Transient or Concurrent Students (those who will receive a degree from another institution rather than EPCC) will not be eligible for financial aid.
  • Individuals admitted under "Early Admission" status will not be eligible for financial aid until documentation of high school graduation is received in the Admissions and Registration Office.
  • Individuals admitted as Transfer Students (those who have attended another institution) may have financial aid eligibility and/or payments withheld until official academic transcripts from all institutions previously attended are received in the Admissions and Registration Office and assessed for applicable credit. This applies to all post-secondary schools previously attended, whether or not financial aid was received.
  • Individuals admitted under "Individual Approval" status must have an assessment of their basic skills in Reading, English, and Math on record with EPCC. Students must have successfully passed an Ability-to-Benefit test. Students will be required to enroll in courses as this assessment is recommended to receive financial aid.
  • Students who have already obtained a baccalaureate or higher degree are generally not eligible for financial aid grants.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal regulations mandate minimum standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for students receiving financial assistance. This requirement applies to students' entire academic history, whether financial aid was received or not, including dual credit courses taken at El Paso Community College.

Standards for Determining SAP at EPCC

  • Calculated Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)

    Students are required to maintain a calculated cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 (equivalent to a "C" grade), which includes all developmental course work.

  • Completion Rate

    Students are required to successfully complete 67% of overall hours enrolled or attempted at EPCC to remain eligible.

  • Length of Eligibility

    A student may receive financial aid for a certificate or degree program for no longer than 150% of the published length of the educational program.

    Associate degree programs at EPCC require a minimum of 60 semester credit hours for completion. Therefore, a student working toward an associate degree that requires 60 hours must complete that program within 90 attempted semester credit hours (60 hrs. x 150%).

    The maximum time frame for a certificate program would be similarly calculated. A student’s entire enrollment history is considered when evaluating academic progress within the established time frame, whether or not aid has ever been received. Transfer hours are also considered within the 150% limit.

    Repeated courses are counted towards all hours attempted and will affect the 150% time frame requirement.

    All Federal programs pay once for a class previously passed. Students who repeat courses to improve their Grade Point Average should be cautioned that in some cases, previously earned hours remain on their record but are NOT calculated as part of the total hours earned. This potentially could affect students Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). The following are not considered credit hours successfully completed: F, W, I, NC, I*, F*

  • Academic Standing

    A student on Academic Suspension, Returning Probation, or Continuing Probation does not meet satisfactory progress requirements and is therefore not eligible for financial aid.

Special Considerations

Degree Evaluation

The Degree Evaluation is available to any student who has been determined ineligible due to a change of major or has already been awarded a degree.

A Degree Evaluation request is available to any student who:

  • Has not received an Associate’s Degree or Certificate and has exceeded the 150% length of eligibility.
  • Has received an Associate’s Degree or Certificate and seeking to obtain a second degree or certificate program.

The student is required to submit a Degree Evaluation request to be considered. Request can only be submitted once for an Associate’s Degree and/or Certificate. Students seeking a third degree are not eligible for financial aid. Decisions are final, and students will be notified no later than ten business days.

Degree Evaluation Requirements:

  • Be following the degree plan on this request.
  • Complete current program within 150% length of eligibility.
  • Requested major for evaluation must be reflected in the Banner student system.
  • Students with a bachelor’s degree or higher will be considered for Federal Direct Loans only.
  • Submit official academic transcript(s) from other colleges/universities to the Admissions Office.
  • Have completed 67% of all credits attempted and calculated cum GPA of 2.0 or greater at EPCC.

Regaining Financial Aid Eligibility

Students under financial aid suspension can regain financial aid eligibility by meeting any of the following:

Suspension Appeal

An appeal process is available to any student who has been determined ineligible for continued aid. This appeal is available to students with mitigating circumstances that prevented them from maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Mitigating circumstances are defined as a significant life event beyond the students control. This event must have occurred during the period of enrollment before the Financial Aid Suspension. It must have been resolved, allowing the student the ability to complete coursework successfully. The mitigating circumstances below are examples of circumstances that may be considered.

  • Personal illness, injury, or accident
  • Serious illness or death within the immediate family
  • Transportation problems
  • Divorce or separation
  • Administrative error
  • COVID-19 related circumstance effective March 13, 2020. Requires student typed statement
  • Other

The Financial Aid Suspension Appeal is initiated by the student and needs to include appropriate documentation describing in full detail the circumstances preventing them from maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress.

The submission of the appeal does not guarantee automatic approval. Decisions are final, and the student will be notified no later than ten business days.

Consideration for re-evaluations is only granted when new supporting documentation supports mitigating circumstances. Students should be prepared to pay their registration fees in the event the appeal is not approved or approved after the payment deadline.


Financial Aid Academic Plan

The Financial Aid Academic Plan is designed for students needing more than one semester to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress standards and/or complete their degree plan. Students have two options to be placed on an Academic Plan. First, students can have an approved Financial Aid Suspension Appeal. Second, students must complete a minimum of 6 credit hours within the same semester while achieving a 2.0 calculated semester GPA and 67% semester completion rate without receiving Title IV aid. Professional judgment may be performed on a case-by-case basis.

Requirements to be placed on the Academic Plan:

  • Enroll a minimum of 6 credit hours.
  • Enroll only in courses listed within their degree plan per semester (including developmental courses required). ESOL courses are not eligible.
  • Courses must be taken as listed on the Student Advising Plan or Academic Suspension Petition for Enrollment.

Requirements to remain on the Academic Plan after semester evaluation:

  • Complete a minimum of 6 credit hours.
  • Complete 67% of all hours attempted if more than 6 credit hours.
  • Earn a 2.0 calculated semester GPA.

Failure to complete all requirements outlined in the Student Advising Plan or Academic Suspension Petition for Enrollment will return the student to Financial Aid Suspension status, and students will lose financial aid eligibility. Students who fail to meet the Academic Plan requirements can submit one Financial Aid Suspension appeal.

Attending Classes without Receiving Financial Aid

Students can regain financial aid eligibility without mitigating circumstances by meeting the following requirements.

  • The student must enroll and complete a minimum of 6 hours.
  • Successfully completed 67% of all hours attempted.
  • Have a 2.0 calculated semester GPA.
  • Be in good academic standing or on academic probation.

A student on Academic Suspension does not meet satisfactory progress requirements and, therefore, is not eligible for financial aid.