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CatCard Office



The CatCard Office is a part of the Division of Student Affairs and is located in Brown Hall. Our hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

A CatCard is the official Western Carolina University identification card available to all student, faculty or staff.

The information below is to help answer the most frequently asked questions and explain the processes and procedures of the WCU's CatCard.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a CatCard

Your CatCard is a picture ID that identifies you as a student, faculty or staff member at Western Carolina University.

Each CatCard has three technological components: a barcode, a magstripe, and a contactless chip. These components work together to access vital services at Western Carolina University. Scratching, hole-punching, or modifying your CatCard may cause one or more components to stop working (see "My Card was Lost, Stolen, or Damaged!" below for replacement information).

The CatCard serves as the students’ key to enter their residence hall and the Campus Recreation Center. The CatCard is also your pass to attend athletic events at WCU at no charge and allows students, faculty, and staff to check books and other materials out of the Hunter Library on campus.

A CatCard can be loaded with a stored-value account called CatCash which allows for purchases at specific locations across campus.

Who is Eligible?

Student Cards

  • Full-time students
  • Part-time students
  • Graduate Assistants
  • Teaching assistants

Faculty/Staff Cards

  • Part-time faculty
  • Full-time faculty
  • All other EPA employees
  • SPA (Classified) employees (full or part time)
  • Wage employees (full or part-time) enrolled in no more than one credit hour
  • Full-time or part-time students, graduate or undergraduate, registered for three credit hours or more, will be considered students. They will receive only a student CatCard. A full or part time wage employee registered for more than one credit hour will receive a student CatCard. A full-time student who is also part-time wages will receive a student CatCard.

    Graduate and Teaching Assistants receive student CatCards. Only Faculty and Classified stake take precedence over student status.

How do I get my CatCard?


Students get their first CatCard as part of orientation. All new students should submit their preferred photo in advance by using the new student checklist on their myWCU portal (click the "CatCard Photo" option). Submitted photos must not be altered by third party applications, must be front-facing on a neutral background, and, generally, in compliance with DMV standards. By submitting your photo at least one week before your orientation session, you will shorten your wait (or even skip the line!) during orientation.

Students that do not submit a photo in advance will be required to get their photo taken in-person at their registered orientation session, or by visiting the CatCard Office in Brown Hall.


Faculty and Staff can visit Brown Hall to get their CatCard once employment has begun with Western Carolina University.

Can I Use my CatCard for my Meal Plan?

Information regarding a student’s meal plan (meal plans are required if you live in a Residence Hall) is stored electronically and is accessed through the CatCard. There are several plans available that make eating on campus convenient for resident students, commuter students, faculty, and staff. Information regarding the use of the CatCard for your meal plan is available on the WCU Dining Services Web Page.

How do I check my Balance?

To check your CatCard Balance and Meal Plan Balance or add CatCash, please log into myWCU

What happens to Unspent Balances?

Unspent meal plan balances remaining in Declining Balance funds will carry over from Fall to Spring semester. Unspent balances remaining at the end of the Spring semester will revert back to the University. Unused Block or Exchange Meals do not transfer from semester to semester.

What is CatCash?

The CatCash stored-value account available on the CatCard allows purchases at soft drink vending, snack vending, the University Bookstore, the University Print Shop, the University Center, University Health Services, IT Services and any on-campus food service location. The CatCard may also be used in printers and copiers located in Hunter Library and across campus.

Funds can be added to your CatCash account at any time and there is no minimum deposit required. Funds can be deposited at the One-Stop Student Services Center counter located on the 1st floor of Killian Annex. You can also add funds to your CatCash account at one of the Add-Value machines located in the Technology Commons in the basement of Hunter Library, the University Center lobby, Courtyard Dining Hall lobby and Health & Human Services Building. Funds can also be added online by use of a credit or debit card at Add CatCash OnlineOnline deposits to a CatCash account should be applied within one hour.

Monies paid for campus food service meal plans are not transferable to the CatCash stored-value account. This means that unspent balances in a student's food service account may not be used for soft drink vending, printing/copying, or Bookstore purchases. Unused dollars left in a CatCash stored-value account remain in the account until you graduate or withdraw from the University. Unused dollars left in an employee's account will be carried forward until the conclusion of employment. A refund may be may be obtained upon request by a student or by an employee at any time.

Requests for refunds are processed at the One-Stop Student Services Center counter on the 1st floor of Killian Annex. A processing fee of $5 will be charged for all refunds. When CatCash account funds are spent in the Bookstore or Dining locations tax will be charged.

My Card was Lost, Stolen, or Damaged!

Students are responsible for safeguarding their CatCards. If a CatCard is lost, either accidentally or by theft, the card owner should give notification to the CatCard Office by calling 828.227.7003 during normal business hours (8 am to 5 pm) Monday through Friday.

After normal business hours or on weekends lost or stolen CatCards can be reported to the University Police by calling 828.227.7301.

Upon notification, the lost card will be electronically deactivated, thereby preventing any further use. The University cannot accept responsibility for unauthorized use of a lost card prior to deactivation.

The replacement charge for a lost CatCard is $15.00.

The replacement charge for a damaged CatCard is $5.00. To qualify for a damaged replacement, the cardholder's most-current CatCard must be turned into the CatCard Office when a new card is issued.

How do I get a Replacement Card?

Your first CatCard is free. This card should last your whole WCU career. There is a replacement fee for lost, stolen or damaged cards. You can pay the replacement fee and have a replacement card made at the CatCard Office located on the second floor of Brown Hall. Each semester that a student is registered, the information for that student will be kept in the CatCard system. Any changes to meal plans or adjustments to debit accounts should be made at the One-Stop Student Service Center counter.

The replacement charge for a lost CatCard is $15.00.

The replacement charge for a damaged CatCard is $5.00. To qualify for a damaged replacement, the cardholder's most-current CatCard must be turned into the CatCard Office when a new card is issued.

Voter Identification Information

During the 2018 election, North Carolina voters approved the North Carolina Voter ID amendment to the State constitution. This created a constitutional requirement that voters present a photo ID in person.

At this time, no UNC System Institution meets the requirements to have their University Student ID considered valid for the purposes of voting. Western Carolina University is working closely with the UNC System Office to coordinate efforts.

For information about valid forms of voter identification, please visit

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