Gaston College to Distribute CARES Act Funding to Students Over $1 million dollars available in federal aid

Gaston College will disperse over $1 million dollars in federal emergency financial aid to students provided under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) approved by the U.S. Congress.

Recently $14 billion dollars was allotted through the CARES Act with $6.28 billion going to colleges and universities and community colleges across the country. Gaston College received $2,520,848 with half of the funding $1,260,424, designated to students and the remaining $1,260,424 going to the College for institutional operations and financial costs.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the designated student aid funding is to help students cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Costs considered eligible include course materials, technology, housing, food, health care, and childcare.

A total of 3,122 Gaston College students are eligible to receive CARES Act student grant funds.

“Our students have faced some unprecedented challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic,” says Dr. John Hauser, President of Gaston College. “Some are out of work and their financial situations are growing more precarious each day. However, despite their circumstances, they have persisted to complete their educational goals.”Female student on campus

“We are reaching out to our eligible students, particularly those with the greatest need, so they can receive payment as quickly as possible. We’ll continue to care for and support our students and use our CARES Act funding to bring them some relief.”

Students are being notified by telephone, email, text, and social media regarding payment. Checks will be mailed to approved students or direct deposited into their bank accounts. To expedite payment, students not currently enrolled in direct deposit are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.

The College is required to file a report to the federal government 30 days after receiving CARES Act funds and every 45 days thereafter to document what instructions they are providing to students, how they are distributing funds, and how much is being disbursed. The College has one year to spend CARES Act funds.

Students eligible for CARES Act Funds must meet the following guidelines:

  • Gaston College students eligible for aid must be in a degree, certificate, or other approved program and be enrolled as full- or-part-time on or after March 2020 for the Spring 2020 semester.
  • Students in high school Career and College Promise and dual-enrollment programs, workforce training programs at the College, and in high school non-degree programs are not eligible.
  • Must have been enrolled in courses at Gaston College during spring 2020, orhave filed a Withdrawal due to circumstances related to the coronavirus.
  • Must be enrolled in an in-person or a hybrid (in-person and online) format — not a fully online program.
  • Must have a 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file.
  • Must be eligible for federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, or Federal Work-Study. If you are not receiving federal financial aid, you may be eligible for aid and qualify for CARES ACT funding, if you meet all other eligibility criteria.
  • Must make satisfactory academic progress.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • All male students must be registered with the Selective Service. 
  • Must have a high school diploma, high school equivalency diploma, or have completed high school in an approved homeschool setting.
  • Must not be in default or owe an overpayment on a Title IV grant or loan.
  • Must have a valid Social Security Number verified.
  • Must not have a federal or state conviction for drug possession or sale, with certain time limitations.
  • Must not have fraudulently received Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits.
  • Must have returned fraudulently obtained Title IV funds if convicted or plead guilty or no contest to charges.
  • Must have repaid Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits if obtained inadvertently.
  • Must file “as part of the original financial aid application process” a certification that includes a statement of educational purpose and a student’s SSN.

For more information about the CARES Act funding available for Gaston College students, contact the Financial Aid Office at 704.922.6227 or by email: visit our website at

NOTE: Grant funds have been provided by the U.S. Department of Education Award Number P425E200519100. 100 percent of the cost of this program is financed with federal funds. Gaston College has received $1,260,424 in federal funds to support this program. Zero percent of non-federal dollars have been used to finance this program.

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