Fresh Start to Finish FAQ

What is the Fresh Start to Finish Program?

In order to increase access and degree completion for students re-entering the college, Gateway offers a prior debt forgiveness program for qualified students to reduce this financial barrier to student success. The college uses funds provided by outside donors to provide offsetting grants to forgive up to $1500 in unpaid student debt. 

How much do I have to owe in order to be eligible for the program?

A student must owe no more than $1500 in total unpaid prior debt incurred.

How old does my debt have to be to be eligible for the program?

You can not have attended Gateway Technical College for a minimum of three semesters after the debt was incurred.

What is the required cumulative grade point average (GPA) requirement for the program?

Students must have a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative grade point average. Students also must maintain this a 2.0 cumulative grade point average to remain eligible for the program. 

How many credits am I required to complete each semester within the program?

Students must successfully complete and earn 6 credits at the end of each semester. 

What must I do to apply for the Fresh Start to Finish Program?

If you meet the eligibility requirements for the program, please complete the application for the program.

How will I find out if I have been approved or denied for the program?

Once a student’s application has been reviewed, the student will be notified via their Gateway student email if they have been approved or denied to participate in the program. 

I have a degree from another higher education institution, but not from Gateway. Am I eligible for this program?

Yes, if a student has no earned associate degree from Gateway, they will be eligible to apply for the program. 

What happens if I incur new debt? Will this amount be included in the forgiveness?

The program is strictly for prior debt. New debt that is incurred will need to paid per the payment guidelines laid out by Gateway. 

How will the offsetting grant be applied to my account?

One-third of the student’s remaining prior debt is forgiven at the end of each of three consecutive semesters. The student must meet all the program eligibility requirements at the end of the term in order to have the forgiveness amount applied to their prior debt. 

How is the offsetting grant applied to my debt if I have less than 3 semesters until I graduate?

If a student has less than 3 semester remaining until graduation, the balance will be split into the number of terms remaining until graduation. The student must meet all the program eligibility requirements at the end of the term in order to have the forgiveness amount applied to their prior debt. 

I need assistance with completing my FAFSA application, who is available to help me?

Gateway offers several different ways to receive help with completing your FAFSA Application.

Will I need to have a payment arrangement in place for my upcoming courses at the time of registration?

Having a payment method in place is a key part of starting your education at Gateway. Students must have a payment arrangement in place the same day of registering in order to not be removed from their upcoming courses. 

What is consider financial literacy to meet the eligibility?

Students have one of three ways to complete the financial literacy requirement of the program which are the following:

  • Gateway to Success 
  • Financial Literacy Workshop
  • Completing a module within GradReady