Eligibility Requirements

Students eligible to receive financial aid, including grants, loans and work-study, are required to comply with all the terms and conditions under: Eligibility; Admission; Eligible Programs; Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP); Special Considerations; Suspension Appeal.


For Financial Aid purposes, an Academic Year is defined as follows:

First Year = 0 to 30 hours

Second Year = 31 hours or more 


 ‭(Hidden)‬ EasyTabs


In order to qualify for financial aid, a 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 did not complete secondary school in a homeschool setting will not be eligible for Title IV funds. 


  • 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.


  • Be a U.S. Citizen or an eligible non-citizen (NOTE: eligible non-citizens may be asked to provide appropriate documentation.)


  • Have a valid Social Security number


  • Register with Selective Service, if male


  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress


  • Not receive financial aid at two schools during the same semester 


The college has the right to revoke financial aid awards to any student who does not satisfy the requirements and conditions of the program. If you fail to meet any of the satisfactory academic progress requirements you will be placed on financial aid suspension. A student on Academic Suspension does not meet satisfactory progress requirements and therefore, is not eligible for financial aid. To return to financial aid good standing after being placed on financial aid suspension, a student must enroll for a minimum of six hours in a subsequent semester, successfully complete 2/3 of hours attempted and attain at least a 2.0 Semester GPA.  A student on Academic Suspension does not meet satisfactory progress requirements and therefore, is not eligible for financial aid.


Transient Students and Consortium Agreements

Students who are taking classes at EPCC but earning their degree from another institution are considered transient students for financial aid purposes. Financial aid must be awarded by the  institution awarding the degree. The institution awarding the financial aid can include EPCC enrollment hours through a Consortium Agreement issued and approved by the degree granting institution.




    Students must be admitted to EPCC. The following conditions will affect eligibility 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 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 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.



 Eligible Programs

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

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.



 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.


Calculated Cumulative Grade Point Average (Calc’d Cum. GPA)

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


Completion Rate

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.  To determine the hours you must complete at EPCC to maintain eligibility see below:

Hours enrolled




















Hours to be completed





















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) or by clicking on following Completion Rate Worksheet link:


Completion Rate Worksheet (MS Excel)


Students who repeat courses to improve their GPA should be cautioned that, in some cases, previously earned hours remain on their record but are not calculated as part of total hours earned and therefore could affect a student’s satisfactory academic progress.
   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.


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

Repeated Courses

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).  


Remedial/ESL Courses

An otherwise eligible student may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 attempted credit hours in developmental/remedial coursework.  Once the 30 credit hour maximum is reached, additional remedial credit hours will not be used to calculate the award amount, but will continue to count toward the overall maximum time frame.



Credit Hour Limit

There is an hour limit to complete a program of study in addition to any needed remedial/developmental coursework.

 For example if a student has completed 30 remedial/developmental hours and is in a 60 hour associate degree program, the hour limit is 120 attempted hours

(60 x 150% = 90 + 30 = 120)


Dual Credit

Students that were under Dual Credit at El Paso Community College must have completed at least 67% of the courses taken with at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (equivalent to a “C” grade). Courses finished with a grade of F, W, I, NC, I*, or F* are not counted as completed.

Students who do not meet above criteria are placed on Financial Aid Suspension and are not eligible to receive financial aid.



Change of Major

The Change of Major request is available to any student who has not received an associate's degree and has exceeded the length of eligibility for current major. The student must submit a Change of Major/ Second Degree Eligibility request form to be considered.



Pursuing a Second Degree

Financial Aid may be awarded for a second degree if the student is able to complete the second degree within 90 hours. The total hours are calculated including all attempted hours including hours from first degree. The student must provide degree evaluation report from BANNER system. The student must submit a Change of Major/Second Degree Eligibility request form to be considered.




 Suspension Appeal

An appeal process is available to any student who has been determined ineligible for continued aid. To be eligible to appeal, the student must have verifiable extenuating circumstances, not be under Academic Suspension or have an outstanding debt with the institution.  Students must initiate Financial Aid Suspension Appeal, including a written explanation and appropriate documentation, stating the circumstances which brought about the ineligibility with the Financial Aid Office.  Any student anticipating the necessity of initiating an appeal should be prepared to pay his or her own registration fees in the event the appeal is not approved or is approved after the payment deadline.

The Financial Aid Appeal Committee will review appeals and validate the documentation attached, to determine if extenuating circumstances of the students should be taken into consideration for approval. The decision made by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee is final unless there are other mitigating circumstances not documented in the original appeal.

Students, whose eligibility for Financial Aid is approved for reinstatement by the Financial Aid Appeal Committee, is awarded effective with the academic term for which the Appeal is requested, if funds are still available for the current academic term/year.  Approval will not impact prior terms.  All costs of attendance incurred during the period of time the student was suspended are the sole responsibility of the student.