General Admission Requirements (for Curriculum Programs)
Gaston College subscribes to the open-door admission policy. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age or possess a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll. Although restrictive standards for general admission to the college are not imposed, the admission requirements vary depending on the program of study the student wishes to pursue while at Gaston College.
Associate Degree, Diploma, and Certificate Programs
For most programs of study, the following steps should be completed prior to registration.
- Complete and submit either an online application or paper application to the Admissions Office. Admissions applications are available at any campus location or online at www.gaston.edu.
- Submit an official high school transcript to the Office of Admissions at Gaston College, 201 Highway 321 South, Dallas, NC 28034- 1499. In lieu of an official high school transcript, the following official documents will be accepted:
- Adult high school transcript
- GED scores
- Official transcript from an approved correspondence high school
- Official transcript from Home School along with Home School record(s)
- Transcript from a regionally-accredited college or university reflecting attainment of an Associate degree or higher.
*Applicants presenting high school transcripts from non-regionally accredited schools or institutions not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education may not be eligible for financial aid. In addition, some employers, licensing boards, and credentialing agencies may not recognize these credentials, even after a student has received course credit or completed a program of study at Gaston College.
- Submit official college and/or university transcripts from where credit was received.
- Schedule and take the COMPASS Placement Test. The placement test may not be required of any person who has scored 500 or higher on the verbal or critical reading section and 520 on the math section of the SAT or who has scored 21 or higher on the English section and 21 or higher on the math section of the ACT. (All test scores must be less than five years old.) A transfer student who has earned a grade of “C” or higher in both college-level algebra and college-level English from a regionally-accredited institution shall have the test waived. The student will need to submit official documentation of these test scores or grades to the Admissions Office.
- Complete the online New Student Orientation.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a Gaston College Application for Admission at least four weeks prior to start of the semester. This ensures the applicant ample time to complete the entire admission and enrollment process. Applicants transferring to Gaston College from another college or university must submit an application and meet the admission requirements for the program of study they intend to pursue at Gaston College. Students who have not registered for a two-year period are required to re-apply and meet current admissions requirements.
Programs of Study with Additional Admission Requirements
Applicants not having attainted a high school diploma but who are 18 years of age may apply for and enroll in certain certificate and diploma programs. These programs of study include Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration, Electrical/Electronics, Welding, and Certified Nursing Assistant I . In addition to completing the general Gaston College admissions application, these applicants must take the COMPASS Placement Test and complete the online new student orientation prior to registration. Non-high school graduates may also register for courses as a Special Credit student. However, they are limited to a total of two classes and must meet any course prerequisites prior to registration.
Admission for Special Credit or Visiting Students (Non-degree Applicants)
Students wishing to register for credit courses but have no intention of completing a program of study will be classified as Special Credit or Visiting students and may be admitted to credit classes with advisor's approval. Students registered as Special Credit or Visiting Students may earn a maximum of 15 hours before having to declare a curriculum major or program of study. Tuition and fees are the same as for regular curriculum students. Credits earned may be applied to a degree, diploma, or certificate program by submitting a Petition for Major Change form to the Admissions Office.
Students who are not North Carolina residents pay out-of-state tuition for credit (degree) classes. A student’s official residency status is determined at the time they complete the admissions application according to the residency policy of the state of North Carolina, the North Carolina Community College System, and the Gaston College Board of Trustees. In order for a student to be considered a legal resident for tuition purposes, the applicant’s residency must be established and maintained in North Carolina for at least twelve months preceding the date of enrollment. Immigrants lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence may establish North Carolina residence in the same manner as any other non-resident.
The legal residence of a person under 18 years of age is that of his or her parents, surviving parent, or legal guardian. In cases where parents are divorced or legally separated, the minor’s domicile is deemed to be North Carolina for the time period that either parent, as a North Carolina legal resident, claims the minor as a taxable dependent.
A change of address does not automatically entitle a student to pay the same tuition as a North Carolina resident. A request to change one’s residency status must be submitted to the Admissions Office prior to registration. More information on residency requirements may be obtained from the Office of Admission.
International students seeking admission to Gaston College must submit, along with an admissions application, an official or certified copy of their high school transcript and an official/certified copy of any college work completed. If the original copies of these transcripts are in a language other than English, an official English translation is required. Students whose foreign transcripts cannot be evaluated by college personnel are responsible for providing a transcript evaluation from a recognized American transcript evaluation agency. Proof of English proficiency is required. This may be established by making a minimum total score of 76 (internet-based), 207 (computer-based), or 540 (paper-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL is published and administered in most countries by the Educational Testing Service, P. 0. Box 899, Princeton, NJ 08541.
Once an international student is admitted to the U.S. with F-1 status, certain obligations must be met in order to maintain that status. The international student must continue to carry a full course of study. This is defined as undergraduate study at a college or university which consists of at least 12 credit hours per semester. In addition to not accepting employment off campus, the international student must keep his or her passport valid for at least six months. An extension of status must be applied if the student wishes to remain in the U.S. beyond the period of time for which he or she was admitted. F-1 students are required to disclose full and truthfully all information requested by INS regardless of whether the information requested is material.
Gaston College is a commuter institution and does not have residence halls or student housing for rent. Students are responsible for finding their own housing. Transportation to the college must be arranged by the student.
ALL APPLICANTS MUST HAVE COMPLETED THESE REQUIREMENTS AT LEAST SIX WEEKS PRIOR TO THE SEMESTER FOR WHICH THEY PLAN TO ENROLL.
Policies and procedures for International students are subject to change in accordance to federal requirements and guidelines.
Huskins Program (College Gateway)
The Gaston College Huskins Program offers qualified juniors and seniors in Gaston and Lincoln Counties the opportunity to take college courses tuition free during their high school day. The legislation in North Carolina that provides this opportunity is called the Huskins Bill. Students taking Huskins courses are eligible to earn both high school credit and community college credit.
Prior to registering for a Huskins course, a student must be approved by the high school principal. Criteria used by the principal include attendance in high school courses, maturity, and grades. For transferable courses, an overall “B” average is recommended; for career technical courses, an overall “C” average is recommended.
Huskins students must meet the same prerequisite and course admission requirements as adult college students; therefore, students may be required to take a placement test. The COMPASS Placement Test is administered by Gaston College and used to evaluate a student’s readiness for college-level work. The placement test can be waived for students who have scored 500 or higher on the verbal section and 520 or higher on the math section of the SAT, or 21or higher on the math and 21 or higher on the English portion of the ACT. The placement test is free and can be scheduled through the high school counselor, or by calling the Admissions Office of Gaston College. Additionally, students must submit a completed Application for Admission before being admitted to Gaston College and all students must meet all academic prerequisites to enroll in a college course. Students enrolled in Gaston College classes pay the appropriate fees, purchase the required textbooks, (unless being purchased by the county), and are treated as all other students.
Courses are taught in various locations including the high schools and on the three Gaston College campus locations in Dallas, Lincolnton, and Belmont. Check with your high school counselor for details on specific courses offered at your high school. Transfer courses receive honors credit.
Additionally, any grade of “C” or higher on college transfer courses will be accepted by all North Carolina Public Universities and many other instate and out-of-state colleges following the North Carolina Comprehensive Articulation Agreement.
Huskins courses are college-level courses and will require outside reading and study time. The courses are taught as college-level courses and some content is calibrated for a college-age audience. Students will be held responsible for course work covered on days they are absent.
Dual Enrollment Program
Upon the approval of their high school principal, high school juniors and seniors may be admitted as special dual enrollment students to appropriate credit and/or non-credit courses. Dual enrollment students must be at least 16 years of age and have completed 10th-grade English. Applicants are admitted on a space available basis into regular classes at the college.
Applicants must be enrolled at least half-time at the high school and be making progress toward graduation. In the case of courses offered in the summer, the principal must certify that a student was enrolled at least half-time in high school courses during the preceding semester and made appropriate progress toward graduation. High school seniors who will graduate in May or June are not eligible to enroll in summer courses as dual enrollment students.
Dual enrollment students must meet the same prerequisites and course admission requirements as adult college students; therefore, students may be required to take the placement test. The college placement test evaluates skills in reading, writing, and math. Dual enrollment students who have scored 500 on the verbal or critical reading section and 520 on the math section of the SAT, or who have scored 21 on the English section and 21 on the math section of the ACT are not required to take the college placement test. All course prerequisites apply to dual enrollment students.
Students must obtain a Dual Enrollment Form from their high school counselor and complete a Gaston College Application for Admission. The Dual Enrollment Form must be completed and all appropriate high school signatures must be obtained before registration. Students must submit the application, test scores, and the Dual Enrollment Form, to the Admissions Office during the late registration period. Required Gaston College signatures will be obtained at the time of registration. Home school students must submit the original “Authorization for Home School” form from the state of North Carolina if home schooling was implemented prior to the age of 16.
Dual enrollment students are allowed to take only two courses per semester (not including labs) and are not allowed to take courses that are taught in the high school. Dual enrollment students are not permitted to enroll in developmental courses or courses in selective curriculum programs such as: Associate Degree Nursing , Associate Degree Nursing (LPNRN Track) , Dietetic Technician , Emergency Medical Science , Medical Assisting , Medical Transcription , Phlebotomy , Practical Nursing , Therapeutic Massage, and Veterinary Medical Technology
Learn and Earn Online (LEO)
Learn and Earn Online (LEO) is a program allowing qualified high school students in Gaston and Lincoln Counties to take introductory-level college courses ONLINE and earn both college AND high school credit. The courses are offered during and after the regular school day, and there is no cost to students for tuition or textbooks.
Any qualified public and charter school student in grades 9-12 can enroll in Gaston College’s Learn and Earn Online courses as long as they have met college requirements and required course prerequisites. Students should check with their school guidance counselor for specific information about participation.
High School students attending a non-public school may enroll in any Learn and Earn Online course with space available that has been offered to but not filled by an eligible public school student. Non-public school students shall be responsible for supplying their own textbooks and other instructional materials.
Admission Requirements for Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education Programs
Requirements for admission to courses in Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education vary by program. Please consult the college website at www.gaston.edu/conted/home.html or the most current copy of the Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education course schedule for details.
North Carolina residents 65 or older do not pay registration or other fees, except for self-supporting classes.
Persons under the age of 16 are permitted to register only for specific summer enrichment programs. Some classes are restricted to persons age 18 and older.