Five things you need to know about college financial aid applications

Parents getting ready to send kids to college, take note! Today is the first day students can submit the nationwide financial aid application, known as FAFSA. And you want to do this as early as you can.

  1. There is only one application for the three different kinds of aid -- from the federal government, state governments and schools. But this one form is super important because it determines the amount of aid a student can get from all of them.


  2. The sooner you file the more money you can get. Some states and colleges have a finite amount of money to dole out and students get it on a first-come, first-serve basis.


  3. Don't assume your family is too wealthy. The amount of aid granted to students is largely based on income. The value of the home a family lives in and any retirement savings aren't taken into consideration. And keep in mind that a family with more than one student in college is actually eligible for more help.


  4. Watch out for different deadlines. There can be early deadlines to get state aid.


  5. And finally, there might be another form. Some states and schools require more information than this one application calls for.


Get started at fafsa.ed.gov
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