Financial Aid FAQs

FAFSA Questions

What to Expect after the FAFSA is filed...

Books and Supplies

2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid

(For students attending fall 2017, spring 2018, and summer 2018)

When is the 2017-2018 FAFSA available?
October 1, 2016
When should I file my FAFSA?
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE after October 1 – especially if you are an Illinois resident attending an Illinois school and you were Pell Grant eligible this year or expect to be next year.
What if I haven’t filed my 2015 taxes yet?
You don’t have to wait until you file your tax return to file your FAFSA. We encourage students to complete your renewal FAFSA on-line at as soon as possible on or after October 1, 2016, even if you only have estimated income figures. You can always go back into to make corrections after you have your final figures.
Now that my 2015 taxes are filed, how do I update my FAFSA information?
A week after filing your 2015 taxes electronically with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you will be able to go back to and do a correction on your file. At that time you can link to the IRS Data Retrieval and it will automatically populate certain information. Then just double check all income information and resubmit.
What financial information do I include on the FAFSA if I am not required to file taxes?
If you or your parents will not be filing taxes for the 2015 year then when completing the FASFA just indicate that you “will not file” on the application.
Is there anything I should do before October 1, 2016?
Yes, you should locate or create your FSA ID which replaced the Personal Identification Number (PIN) effective May 2015. The FSA ID is used to log in and electronically sign within certain US Department of Education websites, such as, and  You can create your FSA ID now. You do not have to wait until October 1 for this process.

2018-2019 Free Application for Federal Student Aid

(For students attending fall 2018, spring 2019, and summer 2019)

When is the 2018-2019 FAFSA going to be available?
The application became available October 1, 2017
When should I file my 2018-2019 FAFSA?
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE  -  you will get a response from FAFSA within a couple of days.  You should look for an email or letter from the school.

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What to expect after the FAFSA is filed...

How do I know the results from the FAFSA being filed?
When you file online the estimated awards are provided to you once submitted. A notification of a Student Aid Report (SAR) is emailed to you as well. Colleges that you include on your application will also notify you of awards.
What does the award letter I received tell me?
Students are notified of financial aid awards through the award letter process. The awards are broken down into fall and spring. The amounts listed are based on full-time (12 credit or more) enrollment. If you are enrolled in less than full-time your actual award will be less. Your student file must be complete to receive your awards - no outstanding verification, documentation, or suspensions.
Why is my aid amount different than my award letter amount?
The amounts listed on the award letter are based on full-time (12 credit or more) enrollment. If you are enrolled in less than full-time your actual aid amount will be less.
Do I go to class if my financial aid has not come through?
Yes, you should still attend class even if your financial aid has not come through. If you miss too many days to begin the class you can be dropped from the class for non-attendance.
Do I have to go full-time to receive a PELL grant?
No, you can take 1 credit hour or as many as 12 credit hours and still receive a pell grant. The Pell grant is adjusted to your credit hours and looks at a students Expected Family Contribution (EFC). In order to receive your full Pell award you must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours or more.
What is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?
The EFC is determined by the information you submit on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The EFC represents a reasonable figure a family is expected to invest in the student’s future, based on current income and assets. It is not the amount you must pay the school.
Why is a class not covered by financial aid?
Courses must go towards a student's declared degree. If a student has already completed specific degree requirements a course may not be covered by financial aid.

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Books & supplies...

I don't have enough financial aid to cover my bill and books. What are my options?
The JWCC Business Office offers a tuition payment plan to students for a nominal fee. Students enrolled in six credit hours or more can participate in the federal direct loan program. A final option would be for student to cover the remaining tuition and books out of pocket by paying with a form of payment (cash, credit card, etc.)
How do I get my books using financial aid?
Once financial aid is processed and a student has excess funds on the student account it can be used to purchase books in the bookstore. Students should take their course schedule and a photo id when going to the JWCC Bookstore.
When can I get my books?
The JWCC Business Office will announce the date books go on sale each semester. This is approximately two weeks prior to the start of classes. If a student has excess funds in their student account they are allowed to use those funds. If not the student must use a form of cash/check payment.
Do I go to class if I do not have my books?
Yes, you should still attend class even if you do not have your books yet. If you miss too many classes you can be dropped for non-attendance. If you expect financial aid to cover your books you should follow-up with them making sure all documentation request have been submitted.

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