How do I qualify for financial aid and scholarships?The Catholic University of America offers a wide variety of scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study appointments to new and continuing students at the graduate level. Federal funds are, by statute, awarded solely on the basis of financial need as determined by a federally approved needs analysis system. These funds are available to as many qualifying students as funding will allow. Those graduate applicants who wish to be considered for federal aid must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Prospective applicants can request information and forms from the Office of Student Financial Assistance or visit the Financial Aid website. Columbus School of Law, Conway School of Nursing, and National Catholic School of Social Service students should contact the school dean’s office for information on funds administered by those schools.
To be considered for graduate scholarships, applicants must submit scores on the General Aptitude Test of the Graduate Record Examination, even if the scores were not required in connection with the application for admission.
Students do not apply for merit scholarships. Chairs and deans nominate their most qualified applicants. Graduate scholarships are usually awarded for September entrance and for up to three (3) years.
Those interested in graduate assistantships should write directly to the school or department (where applicable). Applicants for graduate assistantships who are international students, not permanent residents of the United States, or who are members of religious institutes and orders with a vow of poverty, are not required to submit either the FAFSA or the Catholic University application.
I was approved for financial aid, but it hasn't been posted to my account yet.Graduate scholarships and financial aid are not posted to your student account until after the semester starts. Disbursement dates for financial aid are normally 7 to 10 days after the semester starts, so graduate students should budget accordingly, especially if you are relying on financial aid to pay for housing costs.
Also, did you go to Cardinal Students and accept your financial aid package? If not, follow the directions below to accept your financial aid, which allows the Office of Student Financial Assistance to process and post your awards.
How do I accept my financial aid package?First of all, congratulations on beginning your enrollment at Catholic University, and congratulations on being awarded financial aid to assist in that enrollment! You will need to accept your financial aid package before it is posted to your Student Account. To accept the package, log on to Cardinal Students, and under the heading "Finances" you will find a link entitled "Accept/Decline Awards." Click on the link, and click on the appropriate academic semester or year, depending on your situation.
When on the page, please be sure to review each award and corresponding conditions of that award by clicking on the name of that award. Depending on the award source and type, one of the following options may be available: "Accept," "Accept/Decline," "Accept/Reduce," or "Decline."
Remember to click "Submit" to submit your changes. By clicking on the "Submit" button you certify that you have read and understand the conditions of each award and the general eligibility requirements detailed on the Financial Aid Notification.
If you have any further questions, be sure to contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
Who should I contact with questions about financial aid?Questions about need-based financial aid, including federal loans, should be directed to the Catholic University Office of Student Financial Assistance, which is located in Father O'Connell Hall, Suite 300M, Washington, DC 20064. They can be reached by phone at 202-319-5307 or Toll Free at 888-635-7788, or by email at email@example.com.
Who should I contact with questions about graduate scholarships?Questions about graduate scholarships should be directed first to your school or department (where applicable). Further questions may be directed to Ms. Erin Kleiber, Coordinator of Scholarships and Awards. Ms. Kleiber works in the Graduate Studies office, located at 116 McMahon Hall, Washington, DC 20064. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and the office email address is email@example.com.
What is a 1098-T tax form, and how do I receive one?The 1098-T form (Tuition Payments Statement) is the information return that colleges and universities are required to issue for the purpose of determining a student's eligibility for the Hope and Lifetime Learning education tax credits. It is issued by The Catholic University of America Office of Student Financial Assistance on or before January 31. If you have not received the 1098-T by that date, contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
Is my stipend taxable?If you have signed a graduate appointment contract as a teaching assistant, teaching fellow, or research assistant, your stipend is considered income, and is therefore taxable. You should receive a W-2 from the University on or before January 31 for all wages earned in the previous calendar year.
If you have signed a graduate appointment contract as a merit stipend recipient (that is, a stipend not connected to teaching or work duties at the University), your income may or may not be taxable, depending on your individual tax situation.
For merit stipends, the University is not required to report the stipend on an IRS Form 1098-T, 1099, or W-2. Students can still report stipend amounts on individual income tax returns and pay the tax liability on the taxable portion of the stipend based on income earned after payment of education expenses, including expenses for tuition, books, fees, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment and pursuit of the degree.
However, each individual tax return is different, and it is important to consult a tax professional about your individual tax situation.
For further information, see IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, the Office of Enrollment Services Tax Reporting website, or the Office of General Counsel Tax website.
Are there employment opportunities on campus?
The Center for Academic and Career Success, through its Handshake system, contains complete information about all work-study jobs, plus on- and off-campus student positions and internships. Presently, Catholic University offers up to 30 work-study appointments for graduate students, which provide opportunities to earn additional funds while working with campus and school administration.
You are welcome to review the job descriptions and contact the supervisor directly. You are also encouraged to check the Cardinal Connection website often, as new openings are posted regularly.
What do I need to do to maintain my eligibility for financial aid and scholarships?In order to qualify for a graduate degree from The Catholic University of America, a graduate student must maintain continuous enrollment. Graduate students should be aware of many important factors that affect continuous enrollment, including registration, drop/add and withdrawal dates on the Academic Calendar.
There are minimum academic standards one must uphold in order to maintain scholarships. Furthermore, academic leaves and term withdrawals from The University not only affect the graduate student’s status as a continuously-enrolled student, but also negatively affect the student’s loan eligibility. It cannot be over-emphasized that failure to be enrolled continuously has significant consequences that may hinder the progress toward one’s graduate degree.
Finally, failure to maintain requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress (that is, upholding a minimum GPA as well as a certain percent course completion rate) will affect one’s government loans. For more information, see below or visit the Financial Aid website.
What is Satisfactory Academic Progress, and how do I convince the government that I have it?
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to define successful completion of coursework to maintain eligibility for financial aid. The Catholic University of America is required by federal, state and District of Columbia regulations, as well as institutional policy, to determine whether a student is meeting SAP requirements. SAP evaluation for graduate students occurs once a year at the conclusion of the spring semester.
The student’s entire academic career history must be considered when determining SAP status, regardless of whether or not the student has received financial aid during each period of enrollment.
The qualitative component measures the quality of the student’s SAP by conducting a review of the student’s cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). To meet the qualitative requirement, the student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
Specific federal, state, and institutional scholarships and grants may require a higher GPA for continued eligibility. This is a separate and distinct factor in renewing or continuing eligibility for these specific financial aid funds. The GPA for specific scholarships and grants supersedes the GPA requirements referenced above. Information about the terms and conditions of specific student aid programs that have GPA requirements are provided to the student at the time the award is offered.
The quantitative component measures the pace at which the student must progress through his or her program of study to ensure completion within the maximum timeframe permitted and provides for the measurement of the student’s progress at the time of the evaluation. To meet the quantitative requirement, the student must complete at least 67% of the classes that he/she attempts.
The Office of Enrollment Services and Student Financial Services maintain records of Satisfactory Academic Progress. For more information, visit the Financial Aid website.
What happens if I change my enrollment status?Academic leaves and term withdrawals from The University not only affect the graduate student’s status as a continuously-enrolled student, but also negatively affect the student’s loan eligibility.
During term withdrawals, you may owe a portion of your federal loans, as based on federal policy. It is highly recommended that you speak with the Office of Student Financial Assistance before applying for an academic leave or term withdrawal.
When do I have to start repaying my loans?Upon graduation, student loans you used to finance your graduate studies will enter their grace period. However, if you have earlier loans whose grace period has already expired, these will become due immediately upon graduation.
Once you receive an academic leave or term withdrawal during your graduate studies, your student loan grace period also begins. Your loan repayment schedule will take effect once the grace period expires.
If you decide to return to graduate studies at the conclusion of your academic leave or term withdrawal, you must contact your loan servicer and inform them of your re-enrollment. The Office of Student Financial Assistance can provide further information on these situations.
Can I find out my current loan history?The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, and other Department of Education programs, and provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants so that recipients of Title IV Aid can access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or grant data.