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Alternative Financial Aid and Financing Options

Alternative Ways to Pay are options students and parents may use to cover the out of pocket cost of Catawba College after all financial aid has been awarded. These options include loans, payment plans, and additional scholarships through outside organizations.

Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan

Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan is a federal loan for biological or adoptive parents of undergraduate students that allows the parent to cover educational expenses.

  1. To apply for the Parent Plus Loan, parents need to visit and log in using their FSA ID (FAFSA Login).
    • Apply after April 1st of the fiscal year a student is starting school.
    • The application for the Parent Plus Loan is based on credit and will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.
    • Parents can request on the application for the Parent Plus Loan payments to be deferred until after a student has graduated or withdrawn from Catawba College or can make payments traditionally. 
    • The credit check from the Parent Plus Loan application is good for 180 days.
  2. Once a parent has been approved for the Parent Plus Loan, they need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) on
  3. Then the parent needs to fill out the Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan Request Form and turn it into the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office will not apply a Parent Plus Loan to a student’s financial aid package until this form has been turned in. Please keep in mind the Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan does have an origination fee of 4-5%, which is a fee that comes off of the loan disbursement (payment) before crediting (paying) to a student’s account. Parents will want to factor this origination fee into the overall amount they request on the Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan Application.

If a parent is not approved for the Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan and wants to continue to pursue the loan, they can request a credit decision appeal with the Department of Education or seek an endorser. The Department of Education will send the parent information about these options via email.

If the parent does not wish to pursue the Direct Parent Plus Loan after their application is denied, the student can chose to take out additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan in their name. In order to get the additional student loan added, the student would need to fill out the Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan Denial Form and turn it into the Financial Aid Office.

The max amount a student can receive in additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is based on the student’s year in college.

Additional Unsubsidized Loan Amount



Freshman, Sophomore


Junior, Senior



Private Student Loans

Private Student Loans are student loans which a student would apply for through private banks and lenders. These student loans will be approved or denied based on the student’s credit, therefore most students will need a cosigner to be approved. Each different bank or lender will have a specific process to apply for these private student loans and students will need to contact these organization individually. The Financial Aid Office would urge students to pursue this option as a last resort to cover the out of pocket cost of attending Catawba College since many of these student loans have variable interest rates and the repayment options are not as favorable as the Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan and the Federal Direct Student Loans. When trying to decide on which private student loan to take, students need to compare interest rates and repayment options to ensure they get the best loan for their individual situations.

Once a student is approved for a private student loan and the student has completed all official paperwork with the bank or lender, a request for certification will be sent to the Financial Aid Office electronically. The Financial Aid Office will complete the certification based on what the student is eligible for and send the bank or lender the certification electronically. Once a certification has been completed, the student will see the private student loan on their financial aid award on their CatLink Account. Disbursements or Payments of these private student loans will be the standard financial aid disbursement dates sent to student via email at the beginning of each semester. If a certification is processed after the disbursement date for the semester, the private student loan will typically be disbursed after a 10 day waiting period.

Payment Plan

The Business Office offers a Payment Plan which allows students and parents to pay the out of pocket cost to attend Catawba College in monthly installments every semester interest free. Learn more about the Payment Plan.

Veterans Educational Benefits

The Registrar’s Office processes Veterans Educational Benefits for Catawba College. Once you have applied for Veterans Educational Benefits you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility for the Veterans Affairs (VA). You must submit this Certificate of Eligibility to the Registrar’s Office and they will process your enrollment electronically. You may have additional paperwork to submit to the Registrar’s Office throughout the year to maintain all of your veteran educational benefits. For more information regarding VA Educational Benefits, please visit the Veteran Benefits page.

Third Party Payments

The Business Office processes Third Party Payments through outside organizations including military agencies, educational institutions, international embassies, or state prepaid tuition programs to pay a student’s educational expenses. Learn more about Third Party Payments or contact the Business Office.

Additional Scholarships

Learn more about Finding and Applying for Additional Scholarships.