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Need-Based Assistance

Need-Based Assistance is based on a valid need analysis (the FAFSA) and may be given by the College and/or through Federal and State programs. This type of assistance is determined by the difference between the cost of attending college and the financial ability of the student and the parents to contribute to the educational costs.

To receive need-based financial assistance at Catawba College, you must be accepted at Catawba College and make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree and you must show demonstrated financial need through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must file this form online at

Federal Programs
Federal programs include:

  • Federal Pell Grant

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

  • Federal Work-Study

  • William D Ford Federal Direct Student Loans

  • Federal Perkins Loan (limited availability)

  • Federal Pell Grant: For students with significant financial need. The amount of this grant varies (i.e. the amounts ranged from $605 to $5645 for the 2013-14 academic year).

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG): For students with significant financial need and the student must qualify for a Federal Pell Grant.  The amount of this award at Catawba averages around $1000.

  • Federal Direct Student Loan: These funds are available to eligible students. Freshman students can borrow a total of $5500 from this program (combination subsidized and unsubsidized loans).  The FAFSA will determine which loan type the student will qualify for. The interest rate will not exceed 8.25%; however, the current rate is 3.86% for subsidized loans and 3.86% for unsubsidized loans. Please go to for more information.  Applying for a Loan »

  • Federal Perkins Loan: Low interest rate (5%) loan for students with financial need. The loan is made with government funds with a share contributed by the College. The government pays the interest while you are in school as a half-time to full-time student. You must begin repaying this loan nine months after graduation or when attendance drops to less than half-time. Depending on when you apply, your level of need, and the funding level, you can borrow up to $4,000 for each year of undergraduate study. The total amount you can borrow as an undergraduate is $20,000. This loan is limited and is awarded on first come, first served basis.

  • The Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program: This program is for parents of dependent undergraduate students. Federal PLUS borrowers may apply online at The current interest rate is 6.41%. Repayment begins within 60 days after the last disbursement for the loan period.


State Programs

  • North Carolina Grants: The North Carolina General Assembly created a need-based program that is administered centrally by the North Carolina State Education Assistance Aauthority (NCSEAA). The North Carolina Need Based Scholarship Pogram (NCNBS) is awarded to legal North Carolina residents who demonstrate financial need by filing the Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). College Foundation of NC uses the expected Family Contribution (EFC)   from the FAFSA to award this scholarship and notify the schools of eligibility; if the EFC changes for any reason, the scholarship amount is reevaluated. This grant is contingent upon legislative appropriation of funds and is subject to change.
  • Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island &  Vermont State Grants: For students who are residents of these states scholarship aid may be available to help in your attendance at Catawba College. Amounts vary. For more information check with your guidance counselor.


Alternative Options         

hes-brochure.gifMonthly Payment Plan          
In our continuing effort to assist the families of our students, Catawba College offers a monthly payment plan as an alternative to the traditional lump sum payments each semester. The plan is administered by Higher Education Services, Inc. (HES). You can print the brochure and enroll by mail or you can apply online through the HES website. If you have questions regarding the plan, feel free to contact HES on their toll-free number, 1-800-422-0010 or call the Catawba College Business Office at 1-800-CATAWBA.         

Alternative Loans
: Lenders generally make available alternative student loans to help fill the gap between the financial aid you receive and the money you still need. These are typically in the student's name; however, most require a co-signer. Please contact the Financial Aid Office to determine which loan would be best for you.