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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:

  1. Have financial need;
  2. 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;
  3. Be enrolled as a regular student working toward a degree or diploma program(You may be eligible to receive aid for distance education courses if they are required for your degree or diploma program);
  4. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  5. Have a valid Social Security Number;
  6. Certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant at any institution;
  7. Maintain satisfactory academic progress;
  8. Certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes as stated on the FAFSA;
  9. If you have been convicted of possession or selling illegal drugs while receiving Title IV aid, you must complete a Drug Conviction worksheet to determine if you are eligible to receive federal funds;
  10. Register with the Selective Service at www.sss.gov or call 1.847.688.6888, 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. Programs that are considered clock hour (i.e. Cosmetology) are paid differently from other programs.  In order to assure that the student makes progress toward their 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)


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