Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for CARES

Gaston College has contacted all currently eligible students by email. If you are eligible for a CARES Act Emergency Grant, you were sent an email from the Gaston College Financial Aid Office with instructions on applying for CARES Act emergency funds. The email was sent to your official Gaston College student email account. Please continue to check this page for updates on the CARES Act as they become available.

The College posts all coronavirus-related updates to our COVID-19 Updates and Resources Page.


  • Gaston College students eligible for aid must be in a degree, certificate, or other approved program who were 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 high school non-degrees are not eligible.
  • Must have been enrolled in courses at Gaston College during spring 2020 or have 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 a 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 not have fraudulently received Title IV loans in excess of annual or aggregate limits.
  • 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I have to complete a FAFSA to apply for CARES Act Emergency Grant?
Yes, you have to complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA if you are applying for funds before June 30th, or the 2020–2021 FAFSA if you are applying for funds after June 30. Complete the FAFSA as soon as you can. If you have questions call Financial Aid at 980.285.2266 or 704.922.6227.


2. Can I take online classes and qualify for CARES Act Emergency Grant?
Yes, you could qualify for CARES Act Emergency Grant.


3. How do I apply for the CARES Act Emergency Grant?
All currently eligible students received an email on May 7th to their Gaston College email address with details on how to apply for the CARES Act Emergency Grant.


4. When will I receive my CARES Act Emergency Grant?
Direct Deposit notifications or checks will be sent out within 14 business days of receipt of the CARES Act Emergency Grant application.


5. Do I have to repay the CARES Act Emergency Grant?
The student is not responsible for any type of repayment for the CARES Act Emergency Grant award.


6. What if I owe Gaston College money?
You can still be eligible for the CARES Act Emergency Grant. Gaston College will not use the CARES Act Emergency Grant to pay outstanding balances. The College will not deduct any fees from your CARES Act Emergency Grant. However, any outstanding balances will remain on your account.


How you use your CARES Act Emergency Grant is your choice. The College encourages you to pay off any balances to prevent issues with registration or collections. Visit your WebAdvisor page to learn more about balances and available payment options.


7. Will the CARES Act Emergency Grant impact my financial aid package?
The CARES Act Emergency Grant has no impact on your financial aid package.


8. How do I find out if I’m making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)?
Students who are placed on financial aid Warning, Suspension, Probation or have exceeded Maximum Time Frame will be notified by the Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs Office via letter and email. Students at satisfactory status are notified of their status via email.


9. Do I have to file the CARES Act Emergency Grant as part of my adjusted gross income?
No. Please visit the following IRS link. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/faqs-higher-education-emergency-relief-fund-and-emergency-financial-aid-grants-under-the-cares-act.


10. How can I use my CARES Act Emergency Grant funds?
You should use this money for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus (including eligible expenses related to your cost of attendance, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare, and childcare). Gaston College will not require you to submit receipts or other documentation of how you spend your funds.


11. I didn’t get an email from Financial Aid, but I think I am eligible. Who can I contact?
Contact financialaid@gaston.edu or 704.922.6227.