Although families could start filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on Jan. 1, many put it off.
However, with dwindling financial-aid dollars, some institutions and states are doling out awards on a first-come, first-serve basis until funds are depleted. Dates vary by state, but some require students to fill out the FAFSA in February and March. (Click here for a list of deadlines by state.) FAFSA must receive applications no later than June 30.
So it’s smart to apply now. It’s a common misconception to wait until you file your taxes first. Experts say to estimate and get started.
U.S. News and World Report has a good article on how to avoid common mistakes on the financial-aid application.
For more information or help in filling out the FAFSA, go to here or call 1-800-4-FED-AID
You can also follow the U.S. Department of Education for FAFSA advice on Twitter (Twitter handle @FAFSA).
A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.