Admission as Ability to Benefit (ATB) designation

In keeping with the mission of the Alabama Community College System, applicants with less than a high school diploma or GED may be admitted to courses not creditable toward an associate degree or programs comprised exclusively of courses not creditable toward an associate degree, provided that he/she meet following criteria:

  1. Is at least 17 years of age; 
  2. Has not been enrolled in secondary education for at least one calendar year, or provides a written recommendation from the local superintendent of education, and;
  3. has specifically documented ability-to-benefit based on an assessment approved by the federal government, or holds an Alabama Occupational Diploma, as defined by the Alabama State Board of Education, the high school diploma of another state equivalent to the Alabama Occupational Diploma, or an equivalent diploma issued by a non-public high school, and has not achieved a minimum ACT score of 16 or a total score of 790 on the SAT.


Students without a high school diploma or GED certificate who wish to enroll in designated Ability-to-Benefit programs and courses must take an Ability-to-Benefit test. An independent tester administers the Ability-to-Benefit test to determine if the student can enter one of the designated programs. The student must achieve a minimum score to enter one of the designated Ability-to-Benefit programs. Students who hold the Alabama Occupation Diploma are not required to take the Ability-to-Benefit test.


Shelton State offers the following Short Term Certificate (STC) Ability-to-Benefit programs:

  • Automotive Body Repair 

Students may enroll only in courses listed within the defined STC program of study. The College may establish additional requirements to specific courses or occupational degree programs.