Important Update (6/11/2020)

The NYS Board of Regents recently approved the following emergency amendment to Section 145-2.15(e)(1) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education permitting the remote administration and proctoring of the Ability-to-Benefit (ATB) tests approved by the Regents for purposes of eligibility for New York State student financial aid:

A new subparagraph (iv) is added to read as follows:

(iv) where testing centers and institutions are unable to administer and proctor the test at such locations identified in subparagraphs (i), (ii), or (iii) of this subdivision due to the State of emergency declared by the Governor pursuant to an Executive Order for the COVID-19 crisis the test may be administered and proctored remotely provided such remote administration and proctoring is in accordance with federal requirements.

This allowance is in effect as long as federal guidance allows it and the NYS emergency exists.

For students seeking Federal Financial Aid that have not received a high school diploma or GED, the Federal Government requires that you demonstrate the ability to benefit from a college education.

In December 2014, Congress restored the Ability to Benefit (ATB) provision of the Higher Education Act. (The provision had been dropped in July 2012 as part of federal budget cuts.)

Under the ATB provision, otherwise-eligible students — who do not have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent but are enrolled in Title IV eligible programs — may qualify for federal financial aid.

*All New York residents who have a high school diploma from outside the United States are required to meet the New York State ATB standards in order to be eligible for the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and NY State Aid.

All students who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent (GED), must take an independently administered ATB test. To qualify on the Ability-To-Benefit test, all sections of the test must be taken each time a retest is taken. Federal guidelines for ATB tests require students to pass the three sections of the test “in a single administration of the test” in order to be eligible for Financial Aid benefits.


Foreign High School Graduates

The Ability to Benefit (ATB) test is a New York State requirement for anyone looking to apply for New York State financial aid who has earned a high school diploma from another country.

34 CFR 668.153(a)(2).

A student who does not have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent, whose native language is not English and is not fluent in English, and who is enrolled in a program that is taught in English, must take an ATB test designed to measure the English language competence of a non-native speaker. Students who are enrolled in such a program that has an “English as a Second Language” (ESL) component and who are enrolled in the ESL component, must take an approved ATB test specifically for a student whose native language is not English and who is not fluent in English.

Please speak to the Admissions staff for more information.

New York State College Credit Pathway

Applicants may seek to obtain a New York State High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma based on their having earned 24 college credits (or the equivalent) in a degree or a certificate granting program at a college located within the United States or accredited by a United States institution of higher education.

The High School Equivalency Office cannot recognize, nor evaluate, transcripts nor credits obtained in foreign secondary or post-secondary institutions. All credits evaluated for the purpose of obtaining an HSE diploma must comply with 24 credit course distribution requirements:

English Language Arts [6 credits]

Natural Science [3 credits] (Computer Science does not fulfill this requirement)

Humanities [3 credits]

Mathematics [3 credits]

Social Science [3 credits]

College Degree Program Requirements, such as Electives [6 Credits]

Applicants must currently reside in New York State (for a minimum of 30 days) and may not have graduated from high school nor already have qualified for a NYS HSE diploma.

LIBI’S PATHWAY PROGRAMS For Ability-to-Benefit Students
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