How to Apply for Financial Aid

If you wish to apply for need-based aid, our office requires you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at

The FAFSA uses both your and your parent’s information to calculate your eligibility for federal student financial aid such as grants, loans, and work-study. To complete the FAFSA, you and your parent(s) will need your tax returns from the prior tax year (example: 2015 Federal tax return for the 2016-2017 FAFSA). We recommend that you use the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) in the FAFSA to upload your tax information directly from the IRS.

When you log into the FAFSA, the system will ask you for your FSA ID for both you and one of your parents. Please safeguard these FSA IDs, as they will be used to file renewal FAFSAs in subsequent years. The FSA ID is also your electronic signature for educational loans. If you do not have a FSA ID, please create a New FSA ID.

The FAFSA can be filed online any time after January 1st at Please make sure that both you and your parent sign the FAFSA electronically using your FSA ID in order to avoid processing delays. If at all possible, file the FAFSA by mid-February to meet North Carolina state aid deadlines and the priority processing deadline for Warren Wilson College.

Warren Wilson College’s school code is 002979.

Please remember that after January 1st, there will be two FAFSA years available. Make sure to apply using the correct FAFSA year!

File the 2016-2017 FAFSA for the academic year that runs from August 2016 to May 2017.

PLEASE NOTE: We are encouraging students and parents to file your taxes AS SOON AS POSSIBLE in 2016 before you file the FAFSA.

Once your taxes are submitted and processed by the IRS (allow three weeks), you can upload your tax and income information directly from the IRS into the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (a function in the FAFSA). If you utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in the FAFSA and do not make any changes either on the FAFSA results or by amending your tax return, it will save time and effort if your FAFSA is selected for verification by the federal processor.

If you file the FAFSA before you file taxes, you must log back into the FAFSA and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool after your taxes are submitted and processed by the IRS OR you may enter your federal tax information manually. If you DO NOT use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and your FAFSA is selected for verification, you will be required to submit an official IRS 2015 Tax Return Transcript to the Financial Aid office. (Click here to request a Tax Return Transcript).