How do I apply for aid?

We advise students to submit the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1 for classes starting the following fall.  This is an annual process.   If taxes are not completed you can submit with estimated figures!

School Year

Taxes Used


Applicable Terms




Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Summer 2016


Some funds may be limited and are distributed to eligible applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. For example, the State of Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) has limited funds.  In years past the suspension of this award has occurred as early as February 16!  So if your FAFSA is not on file prior to the cut off date you will miss out on this award if you qualify.  File early even with estimated tax information!

To learn more about filing your FAFSA review the "Seven Easy Steps to the FAFSA, A Student's Guide to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid" tutorial. When completing the FAFSA you will use John Wood's school code 012813!

Step 1

Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and list JWCC (School Code 012813) as your school of choice. The FAFSA may be completed online at  You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Department of Education.

If you do not have the required taxes filed you can still file!  File with estimated figures and then once your taxes are filed you can update your FAFSA information.  To learn more about updating tax information review how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your information.
If you need help filling out the FAFSA online, JWCC has FAFSA labs that you can attend or you can review the link above on the "7 Easy Steps".  You will need to bring your tax return copies and any other required paperwork. If you already have a FSA ID (replaced FAFSA PIN), bring it with you as well.  Here is additional information regarding the FSA ID:     

Step 2

Log into your SOLAR account to view and complete any additional outstanding requirements (i.e. verification, appeals, etc.). 

Step 3

Allow at least two weeks for processing. After that check your student email account or your SOLAR account for status updates or notifications.


(1) Tutorials produced by University of California, Santa Barbara, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.