How Eligibility is Determined
Gaston College uses the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to assess the financial condition of financial aid applicants. Information entered onto the FAFSA is analyzed according to the requirements of the U.S. Congress and federal guidelines. This ensures that all applicants are treated fairly and equitably. Such items as income, assets, family size, marital status, and number of family members in the household in college are used to determine eligibility.
Results of the FAFSA indicate the amount the student and his or her family can contribute toward the student's education. Most financial aid is based on need rather than on scholastic record. Financial need is the difference between the total education expenses and what the family is expected to contribute.
Students must meet the following requirements before they can receive federal financial aid funds:
- have financial need;
- have a high school diploma, a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or a passing mark on an independently administered test approved by the U.S. Department of Education or meet other standards that are approved by the U.S. Department of Education;
- be enrolled as a regular student working toward a degree, diploma, or approved certificate in an eligible program. (Students may not receive aid for correspondence or telecommunications courses unless they are part of an associate, bachelor, or graduate degree program.);
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- have a valid Social Security Number;
- make satisfactory academic progress;
- sign a statement of educational purpose/certification statement on refunds and default (found on the Student Aid Report);
- sign a statement of undated information, if required (found on the Student Aid Report); and
- register with the Selective Services, if required.
**Note: All students who apply for and receive financial aid must be working toward a Diploma or Associate degree from Gaston College. Financial aid is not awarded for certificate programs. In order to assure that the student makes progress toward that degree in terms of number of hours completed each semester and achieving a 2.0 GPA, Gaston College will utilize the following satisfactory academic progress policy. For more details, view the FA Satisfactory Academic Progress Guidelines (SAP)