Greetings from the Office of Student Financial Assistance! 

As you prepare to come to campus, our team’s goal is to make applying for and receiving financial aid as easy as possible. The information below will be useful as you continue preparing for the upcoming school year.


To-Do List: Before you can receive and accept your Financial Aid Award, make sure there are no outstanding requirements on your To-Do List in Cardinal Students ( The To-Do List appears on the right side of your Student Center as soon as you log in. You can click on each requirement for an explanation of what is needed. If an item in your financial aid package is listed as “Estimated”, there are still requirements in your To-Do List left to complete. 


Accepting Aid on Cardinal Students: In the “Finances” section of your Student Center, select the “Accept/Decline Awards” hyperlink. Aid should be accepted prior to August 1. You have the option to accept or decline the full amount offered or select a lower amount. If an item in your financial aid package is listed as “Estimated”, there are still requirements in your To-Do List left to complete (see above). Once accepted, aid will not disburse until at least 10 days prior to the start of the term. In Cardinal Pay your accepted aid will appear as “Anticipated Aid” once the billing process begins. Here is a guide to accepting your awards:

Be sure to change the aid year to 2024-2025!


Entrance Counseling/MPN: If accepting Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Loans for the first time, you will need to complete Entrance Counseling ( as well as a Master Promissory Note ( To log in, you will use your Federal Student Aid ID (the same one that is used to complete the FAFSA). Be sure to select the appropriate student status (Undergraduate) and the correct loan type (MPN for Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans). The federal loans will not disburse until both tasks are complete.


Federal Work-Study (FWS):  This is a need-driven award and is based on your FAFSA information. If you were offered FWS, you will receive information about the Student Employment Fair which takes place during the first week of classes. Job listings are also available in August at Students participating receive paychecks every other week, based on their hours worked. Earnings are not applied to the student’s bill. If FWS was not offered, non-work study positions are also available on Handshake. More info on FWS:

  1. Graduate Students: If you wish to pursue an on-campus FWS position, please attend the Employment Fair which takes place during the first week of classes. Your potential employer will verify your eligibility with our office. You must have financial need. Learn more at

Parent PLUS Loan: The Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan is a non-need-based, fixed interest loan made to parents of dependent undergraduate students. The CUA Parent PLUS loan application is available here: Parents may borrow up to the Cost of Attendance after all other aid has been applied. Note that parent borrowers will need to complete their own MPN before the loan can disburse ( More information:


Private/Commercial Loans: Use private student loans as a last resort, as many have variable interest rates which increase their costs over the life of the loan. Be sure to do your research on the lender, the loan requirements, and the repayments plans. More info on Private Loans here:


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): Students may complete an Education Record Release if they would like a third party (such as a parent) to have access to financial aid information. If the student does not complete this form, the information we are able to share with third parties is limited. Students may complete the form here:


Private Scholarships and Other Resources: Continue your search for scholarship opportunities. Visit our website at for a list of scholarship search services. Be alert for scholarships available through your local community organizations. Be sure to visit us online routinely at to find information about the various financial aid programs available as well as our policies and procedures. These policies and procedures can change based on federal regulations or university decisions regarding aid, so we encourage you to check our site regularly to get the most up-to-date information.


Payments and Billing: For information about bills, one-time payments, and monthly payment plans, please contact our colleagues in the Office of Enrollment Services: To waive the CUA Student Medical Insurance, visit here:


We hope you are excited to start a year at Catholic University! Please let us know if you have any questions about the financial aid process.


Office of Student Financial Assistance

Contact information:

Location: Father O’Connell Hall, 3rd Floor
Phone: 202-319-5307         Toll Free: 888-635-7788               Fax: 202-319-5573
Inquiries:        Document Submission: