As of 2016, college-bound students can fill out their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Loans) while they make their college selection.
In the past, students preparing for college had to wait until January to file FAFSA forms to find out what kinds of federal scholarships they were eligible for. This meant that they were making their selections for college (one of the biggest investments of one’s life) without knowing one very important factor—how much they might get from the government. Why is this important? Well, if you, as a financially responsible student, cut some schools from your short list because they the school’s sticker price made it appear out of reach, you might have shorted yourself some really good options.
In any spending decision, obviously one crucial fact one needs to is how much money they have. Filing your FAFSA as soon as possible can give you a much clearer sense of how much money you have to work with.
Go to the official FAFSA site: fafsa.gov.
Find someone to help you—a school teacher, guidance counselor, go to a local college or community college administration office. Seek and find someone with experience. Trust us, it makes it all sooo much easier.
Prove you’re serious about your college education by educating yourself about college! We’ve literally written the book to help you: The Savvy Student’s Guide to College Education. And guess what, it’s free online. Or use the table of contents to find the right answers for you (pssst— you really need to know the first 6 chapters…life is about to present a pop quiz.)