Applying for Financial Aid

Catawba College students outside on a laptop

You need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It allows us to determine what aid you will qualify for - both from Catawba College and from the federal and state governments - in the form of scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans.

The FAFSA is free and easy to complete online.

IRS DRT: Students and parents should pay careful attention to all dates and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), if possible, to ensure accurate information is submitted. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to securely transfer specific IRS information directly from their tax forms processed by the IRS in a few easy steps. For security purposes, some student and parents will not be eligible for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and will need to use tax documents to complete the FAFSA.

FSA ID: In order to apply for financial aid through the FAFSA, both students and parents will need to create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. The FSA IDs will be the log in information for the FAFSA. These IDs can be created at any point before filing the FAFSA. The Financial Aid Office encourages students and parents to have their social security card in hand when setting up their FSA IDs in order to use both the correct spelling of legal names and social security numbers. Please be advised that both students and parents will need to have their own separate e-mail address for the FSA ID log in.

Learn more below:

FSA Overview for Students & Parents

FSA ID for Students

FSA ID for Parents

FAFSA Waiver

If you do not intend on filing FAFSA, please fill out the Catawba College FAFSA Waiver so we can finalize your financial aid.

FAFSA Waiver


After You File

After You File

  • Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) to ensure information submitted on the FAFSA is correct.
  • The FAFSA processor may select students for Federal FAFSA verification, which means students/parents must submit additional information to the financial aid office in order to receive aid.
  • The FAFSA processor will assign you with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number.
  • The financial aid office uses the EFC to help determine how much need-based financial aid you may receive.

After You're Admitted

  • The financial aid office will put together a financial aid award letter including all aid you are eligible for.