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Eligibility Requirements


  • Student must demonstrate financial need.
  • Have a High School diploma or GED certificate.
    Effective July 1, 2012; new students without a high school diploma, GED or who did not complete secondary school in a homeschool setting will not be eligible for Title IV funds.
  • Student must be enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
    Most programs at EPCC are considered “eligible,” but it is a good idea to verify that with the Financial Aid Office.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
    NOTE: eligible non-citizens may be asked to provide appropriate documentation.
  • Student must have a valid Social Security number.
  • If Male, the student must register with Selective Service.
  • Student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Student must not receive financial aid at two schools during the same semester.

Students must be enrolled at the college for the purpose of obtaining one of the following:

  • Associate Degree
  • Certificate of Completion that meets regulatory requirements.
    (Check with Financial Aid Office for details.)
  • NOTE: For any Certificate Program that does not lead 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. A program which is at least a two-year program and is acceptable for full credit towards a bachelors degree.

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


  • 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 at EPCC.
  • 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 and verified to Financial Aid 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, assessed for applicable credit and verified to Financial Aid Office. In addition, students must request a financial aid transcript from any previously attended college(s) before financial aid is disbursed. 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 recommended by this assessment in order to receive financial aid.
  • Students who have already obtained a baccalaureate or higher level 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. The standards for determining progress at El Paso Community College are comprised of calculated cumulative grade point average (Calc’d Cum. GPA), completion rate (percentage of hours attempted), length of eligibility, and Academic Standing.

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

Students are required to successfully complete two thirds (2/3) of hours attempted in order to remain eligible. The Financial Aid Office will calculate the completion rate at the end of each academic year based on the enrollment status confirmed on the College’s official census dates for that period.

Note: If enrolled for more than 24 hours, determine # hours to be completed by multiplying .67 x hour's enrolled. (round to nearest whole number)

Repeated courses will be counted toward all hours attempted and will affect the 150% time frame requirement. All Federal programs will 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 the student Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
The following are not considered credit hours successfully completed: F, W, I, NC, I*, F*

Length of Eligibility

Federal regulations require that the college set a maximum time frame in which a student is expected to finish a program. 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 between 60 and 72 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 in the 150% limit.

Special Considerations

Suspension Appeal

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

Mitigating circumstances are defined as a significant life event beyond the students control. The significant event must have occurred during the period of enrollment immediately prior to the Financial Aid Suspension, and must have been resolved, allowing the student the ability to complete course work 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 details the circumstances preventing them from maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress.

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

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