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$2 Million Gift to Catawba College to be Used for High-Achieving, Lower-Income Eligible Students

February 9, 2021

Category: Academics, Environmental Science, Students

co-seal.pngCatawba College has received an anonymous gift of $2 million to support first-year students entering Catawba for the fall 2021 semester. The scholarships are designated for lower-income students who achieve high academic high school performances. 

The Catawba Promise Opportunity Scholarship is intentionally designed to make a four-year residential Catawba College experience possible for every student entering in the 2021-22 academic year, according to Dr. Jared Tice, Senior Vice President for the College Experience and Dean of Students.   

Tice said that the scholarship is aptly named, “as we are providing a real opportunity to qualifying students to have a residential Catawba experience, but who can often not afford the additional cost of living on campus. The scholarship strengthens our promise and commitment to be a College and community of learners grounded in access, affordability, and personal attention.” 
Each eligible student will receive the Catawba Promise Opportunity Scholarship in addition to their academic merit scholarship award and any federal and state financial aid. The scholarship is renewable all four years, provided the student continues to be academically and need-eligible and resides on campus. 

Catawba is still currently admitting students for the fall 2021 semester through its easy test score-optional application and through the Common App.  Additionally, to determine if a student is eligible for the Catawba Promise Opportunity Scholarship, each student is required to submit their Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA) to Catawba College using the College’s FAFSA code 002914.   

Annually, Catawba awards over $3.5 million to support over 500 students from the College's Endowment and Gifted Scholarships, according to Kelli Hand, Director of Financial Aid. Nearly half of the student population is supported by these funds. Departmental scholarships are also available in in Environment, Business, Computer Science, English, History, Teacher Education, and other departments. 

Dr. David Nelson, President of Catawba, said in appreciation of the gift, “Providing educational opportunities so students can pursue meaningful life and work is at the heart of Catawba College. These scholarships will make the promise of such an education a reality.” 

Dr. Tice called the donor gift amazing and said that it “truly mitigates the financial barrier of college for many prospective students and families enrolling this fall. It provides a strong financial aid pathway for every qualifying prospective student to have the ability to benefit from the wonderful impact of residential living and learning at Catawba College this fall. Combined with earned merit-based scholarships, full participation in federal and state aid programs, and any additional Catawba grants and scholarships, students who qualify will see no, to very limited, direct out-of-pocket expenses due to this new scholarship program.

"This scholarship program hits at the heart of our work by providing access to students and making affordable the residential Catawba experience to our prospective students and families who deservingly need it most,” he said. “By doing so, we embody the Mission and Values of the College through this new scholarship offering to best serve our students and broader community — and in particular — the Central Piedmont area of North Carolina where we continue to draw the majority of our new students.” 

Students and families interested in applying to Catawba College and enrolling this fall can do so by visiting

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