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Distance/Online Adult Degree & Non-Degree Admissions Process

ADMISSION to the distance / online / ADULT BACHELOR DEGREE PROGRAM at catawba college

The admissions process for the evening / adult bachelor degree program is fast and easy for the busy working adult student. Transfer and non-degree students use the same application. The application takes less than 2 minutes. We work on admissions every day and send out admitting letters daily so you can start class as soon as you are ready.

Admissions Process For All distance / online / Adult Students

The first step to attending college as a working adult evening student is to complete the online application. This application fits all adult students:

  • "degree-seeking" for the business administration bachelor degree or birth-kindergarten early childhood degree or RN to BSN nursing degree
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  • "freshman" includes students who have never attended another college or university

  • "transfer" includes students who have attended another college or university, may have credits to transfer, and may have an Associate degree, but do not have a Bachelor degree

  • "re-entering students" includes those who have previously been enrolled at Catawba College but have not attended the semester immediately prior to a registration period

  • "non-degree seeking" includes post-bac courses and student teaching for birth-kindergarten early childhood licensure and RSS lateral entry teachers

  • "tuition remission" for free courses for full-time community college students

  • "auditing" a course for no credit

All degree-seeking, re-entering, and post-bac licensure students must submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended prior to Catawba, even if you attended a different college or university for less than a semester.

Virtually all colleges and universities have online ordering portals for transcripts. We strongly recommend that you have transcripts delivered to us electronically — it is much faster and more secure. Transcripts should be ordered at least three weeks prior to the initial registration so there will be time for a transcript evaluation for transfer credits and proper academic advisement prior to registration. If you can direct the destination email, please send transcripts to If you receive an email confirmation that you have ordered a transcript, please forward that receipt to so that we can add it to your file as quickly as possible. If transcripts must be mailed, send them to: Division of Distance and Online Education, Catawba College, 2300 W Innes Street, Salisbury NC 28144.

For degree-seeking and re-entering students, we require an official high school transcript or official copy of your GED. Most high schools send transcripts by mail, and they should be sent to the same street address listed above.

If you are a re-entering student within five (5) years of your last attendance, you do not need to supply new transcripts.

All adult bachelor degree-seeking students should complete your FAFSA using Catawba’s school code: 002914. If you are unsure of your eligibility for financial aid as a working adult, you can contact Financial Aid at 704-637-4416. Read more about adult student financial aid.

You will be admitted into Catawba College after we receive your completed online application and all of the transcripts from high school (or GED) and any colleges attended. Then, the Registrar will evaluate transcripts to determine the transfer credits from other colleges. The Director of the School of Evening and Graduate Studies will notify you of your acceptance by email.


Registration Process For DISTANCE / ONLINE / Adult Students

New students in the evening / adult bachelor degree program can register approximately 45 days before the first class.

After you are admitted to the evening / adult bachelor degree program, you will meet with one of the academic advisors to determine which courses you need to complete the bachelor degree or meet licensure requirements. Together, you will arrange your schedule from the selection of courses being offered in the upcoming sequence of blocks.

Students who need to be "full-time" to meet financial aid requirements MUST register for four courses at the beginning of the semester in order to meet the 12 credit hours necessary for full-time adult student status.

Admissions Policies

Catawba College's Distance / Online / Adult Program is designed for working adults who want to earn a college degree in the evening or to take courses for professional or personal development.

Both degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students must submit an application form online.

All students except auditing, tuition-remission, RSS lateral entry teachers, and post-bac education licensure students must submit official high school or GED transcripts, and official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended.

Prior college grades are not used in determining admission, but we must have official transcripts.

Education degree students, post-bac licensure students, and nursing students must also satisfy criminal background check requirements. Education students can provide a valid and current copy of the Qualification letter from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Criminal Records Check Unit (DHHS CRC Unit) to satisfy this requirement. Nursing students will be contacted by the nursing department regarding fulfilling this requirement.

Re-entering students are those who have previously been enrolled at Catawba College but have not attended the semester immediately prior to a registration period. Re-entering students must apply for re-admission and be cleared by various campus offices before being allowed to register.

The minimum entrance requirement is a high school diploma or a GED. The Bachelor of Arts in Education (B.A.E.) program with a major in Birth-Kindergarten Education is open to applicants who hold an A.A.S. in Early Childhood Associate from a community college.

Tuition Remission for N.C. Community College Students

Catawba College offers full-time, degree-seeking students at a North Carolina Community College the opportunity to take one course per semester through Catawba tuition-free. This means you can take a free course at Catawba College while you are a full-time community college student. This allows community college students the ability to earn up to the equivalent of one full-time semester at Catawba College, without paying tuition. After earning your associates degree, you are closer to earning your bachelor’s degree, and your total cost is significantly less. Read more about free classes for community college students.