ATB (Ability To Benefit)

Guidance for students who do not have a high school credential but need financial aid for college


Ability to Benefit (ATB) helps those who do not have a high school credential (high school diploma or GED) to apply for Federal Financial Aid.

If you do not have a high school credential, but wish to apply for financial aid to attend college, you can prove Ability to Benefit in one of three ways:

  1. Complete 6 college level credits that count towards your degree path.
  2. Take an approved test earning the required minimum score.
  3. You can be eligible for ATB if you are enrolled in an I-BEST supported program which includes the ability to earn a HS diploma.

Having access to apply for Federal Financial Aid can greatly help you during your college journey. This may allow you to access Federal financial aid (Pell grants and student loans), and Washington State financial aid (Washington College Grant),  assuming you are otherwise qualified.   As with all financial aid applications, you must meet application deadlines, and must only enroll in classes that are required for your TCC certificate or degree program.

If you would like to explore more about ATB at TCC, please contact Rebecca Jayasundara at or schedule a zoom appointment by clicking here.

If ATB is not for you, there are plenty of other ways to pay for college. Visit here for more information.