A-Z Index

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use ‘CatPAWS?

To access your ‘CatPAWS account, open Internet Explorer.  Go to the Northwest homepage and select Connect, then ‘CatPAWS.  Click on Enter Secure Area and the user login window will appear.  Type in your Bearcat Card ID and your password.

If my advisee does not have a username yet, how can I register them?

All students are issued their username upon admission to Northwest.  Their username is their 919# located on their Bearcat Card.  If your student does not have an enrollment password or their ‘CatPAWS account does not work, a grey and white enrollment form must be completed.  Enrollment forms can be obtained by contacting the Admissions Office, x1146.  The form must be completed and then taken to the Registrar's Office to finalize the registration process.

How are new freshman students registered?

Freshmen beginning in the fall are preregistered for their fall classes by attending the SOAR (Summer Orientation Advisement and Registration) program.  Any changes to their schedule can be accomplished with their University Seminar Advisor during Advantage.  Students who begin in the spring semester preregistered for their courses by attending New Student Orientation and Preregistration in November.  Each student will meet with an academic advisor in their major and enroll for courses through the Registrar's Office.  If the student chooses not to attend a preregistration program, they will register during General Registration, generally offered the week prior to the start of the semester.

How are new transfer students registered?

New transfer students will preregister through the New Student Orientation and Preregistration program.  Each student will meet with an academic advisor in their major and enroll for courses through the Registrar's Office.  If the transfer student chooses not to attend a preregistration program, they will register during General Registration, generally offered the week prior to the start of the semester.

I have been asked to advise Transfer Students during Transfer Preregistration, so what can I expect?

On New Student Orientation and Preregistration dates, students will visit campus, be introduced to various student support offices, receive instruction on reading their Degree Audit Report (DARS) and become preregistered for the next semester.  As a faculty advisor, you will be asked to review the student's DARS, discuss any courses they are currently enrolled in and build a course schedule that meets the student's needs.  You will help the student log on to the secure area using their 919# and creating a PIN.  The Registrar's Office enters your advisor number into the student's record.  The student is now officially one of your advisees.

When do my advisees' preregister?

Students' initial registration times are set according to the number of Northwest hours they have accumulated.  Each semester, they are assigned a registration window that opens at a specified time and they can register anytime after the window opens on their ‘CatPAWS account.

How can I get an updated listing of my advisees?

Log onto ‘CatPAWS.  Click on the Faculty & Advisors Menu and then click on Advisors Menu and Advisee List.  Click on the term you wish, and you will then get a list of ALL advisees.  In addition, prior to the beginning of preregistration, the Registrar's Office will send each advisor a listing of his/her advisees.

How do I check an advisee's GPA?

A student's Northwest GPA is located on their transcript.  To access a student's transcript, log onto ‘CatPAWS and click on the Advisors Menu.  Select term and student and then click on Transcript.  You will now be able to view the student's academic transcript.  You will receive grade reports at the end of each semester that your advisees attend.

Why do students have three different GPAs?

A student will have three different GPAs if they have taken a college credit elsewhere.  Their OTHER GPA will reflect their grade point average for all non-Northwest credit.  The NORTHWEST GPA will only consider those credits earned at Northwest and the TOTAL GPA will be a cumulative GPA on all undergraduate credit.

One of my advisees has transfer credit-who should they see?

If a student has already taken the credit or is contemplating taking credit elsewhere and would like to see how it will transfer to Northwest, they can consult with Brady Willis, Transfer Academic Advisor. Brady works in the Admissions Office and can be contacted at 660.562.1804 or

How can I check to see if an advisee's transfer credit is loaded and how it is equated?

You could contact the Registrar's Office to have a new copy of the student's Degree Audit Report (DARS) printed, or it would also be located on their transcript found in ‘CatPAWS under Student Academic Transcript.

I have lost the registration passwords for my students, where can I find them?

You were sent a list of all your advisees, if this list was misplaced, ask the Registrar's Office for a new copy.  An advisee's registration password is also located on the first page of the student's advisee packet.

How can I find out my student's ACT scores?

A copy of each student's ACT report is located in their advisee file.  If the student's ACT report is missing, please contact the Advisement Assistance Office at X1695 or email .

One of my advisees would like to withdraw from the University. Which office handles withdrawals?

The Advisement Assistance and Resource Office handle any undergraduate student withdrawals.  A form is completed in that office and a weekly report is sent to other administrative offices.  If your advisee is unable to appear in person, contact the office for other options at X1695 or e-mail

What information can I share with one of my advisee's parents?

It is best not to share any information with your advisee's parents. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) indicates that parents have no inherent rights to inspect a student's education records.  The right to inspect is limited solely to the student.  Records can be released to parents only under the following circumstances:  1) through a written consent of the student, 2) in compliance with a valid subpoena, or 3) by producing a copy of the most recent Federal Income Tax form showing the student was claimed as a dependent.

Where can a student pick up a petition form?

Petition forms can be obtained in the offices of Registrar, Financial Assistance, Student Account Services and Admissions.  To petition anything financial in nature, the student should complete a Financial Appeals Petition, found in the offices of Financial Assistance, Admissions or Student Account Services.  To petition general education requirements, the student should complete a petition to the Curriculum and Degree Requirements Committee.  This petition can be obtained from the Registrar's Office.  To petition academic policies and admissions situations the student should complete a General Petition to the Committee on Academic Petitions.  This petition form can also be obtained from the Registrar's Office.

When will I receive a copy of an advisee's Senior Statement?

You will be sent your advisee's request for a Senior Statement after it is requested from the Registrar's Office.  Students are encouraged to complete this request at least two semesters prior to the student's graduation.  Upon return to the Registrar's Office, finalized Senior Statements are kept on file, and copies are sent to the advisor and the student.