When to Apply

Preferred option: after filing taxes

It is preferable, but not required, to wait to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) until after you have filed your federal income tax return.

Preparing to file your taxes

Determine if you need to file taxes. Remember, even if you are not required to file a tax return, you should file to get a possible refund of any Federal Income Tax that was withheld from your paycheck(s).

Get help filing from free tax sites - if you need it and if you qualify. You can find one near you.

If you do not plan to file a tax return, you may proceed with completing your FAFSA.

Filing your federal income taxes

Filing electronically is preferable - and file as soon as possible. After filing, allow the IRS to process your return before completing your FAFSA, which is typically:

  • 2-3 weeks for taxes filed electronically
  • 6-8 weeks for paper taxes

If you fill out your FAFSA before filing your tax return, use estimated amounts and mark your tax filing status as "Will File."

Academic Calendar

Have a Question?

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Contact Financial Aid
email: finaid@nwhealth.edu

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