A College Degree with Zero Debt is Possible 

A College Degree with Zero Debt is Possible 

You might be surprised at how affordable college could be this fall. With many new opportunities for grants, scholarships, and other financial aid you might even be eligible to attend Gaston College for free.  

If you graduated from a North Carolina high school in 2021, the recently announced Longleaf Commitment Grant could make your college education free by covering up to $2,800 per year for two years at Gaston College. Full-time students who meet the eligibility requirements are guaranteed to receive $700 to $2,800 per year, and partial awards are available for part-time students. 

You will be considered for a Longleaf Commitment Grant automatically after you complete the following steps. 

  1. Complete the NC Residency Application.
  2. Apply to Gaston College
  3. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2021-22 

The Longleaf Commitment Grant isn’t the only option for getting help paying for your education. Gaston College has a multitude of grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities to help you achieve your educational goals. Here are just a few examples: 

  • The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund directed federal dollars toward helping education-related entities, including Gaston College, address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of our programs qualify for GEER Scholarships that help cover your tuition, fees, books, supplies, credentialing tests, transportation, childcare, and other costs associated with attending college.  
  • Interested in pursuing a STEM-related education and career? The Gaston College SPARC Scholars program is a scholarship initiative funded by the National Science Foundation and a private donor to help Gaston College Associate of Science students who plan to transfer to a four-year university and major in a STEM program. 
  • The GC Promise program will cover up to another $1,250 of tuition and fees not covered by financial aid or other scholarships for eligible Gaston or Lincoln County students that took College Now (Career and College Promise) classes in high school. 
  • The new Textile Technology AAS program, which prepares you for a career in the growing textiles industry, has scholarships available for full-time students and grants for part-time students. 

There are many other options the financial aid team can help you explore, including over 80 named annual and endowed scholarships distributed through the Gaston College Foundation 

“Earning your degree without going into debt is possible, especially with all the scholarship and new aid opportunities available right now,” said Ungina Perkins, Director of Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs. “This is a great time to come to Gaston College, and our team is here to help students identify and apply for the financial resources they need to start or return to school this Fall.”  

Don’t let concerns over costs deter you from your educational or career-training goals. If you want to attend college, Gaston College can show you the way to an affordable, high-quality education. If you’re ready to get started, you can start your application at gaston.edu/apply-online. If you have questions about financial aid you can reach our team at financialaid@gaston.edu or 704.922.6227.  

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