If you want financial aid, the FAFSA is your first and most important step.
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It's the primary application colleges use to determine your eligibility for federal and state financial aid. Some colleges also use the FAFSA to award "institutional aid" -- the grants and scholarships the college funds itself.
Who Should File a FAFSA? Everyone!
Even if you think you won't qualify for financial aid, file a FAFSA anyway. You might qualify after all. Plus, it's the only way to become eligible for low-interest federal student loans.
Complete the FAFSA ASAP
Some colleges award financial aid on a first come, first served basis or have priority financial aid deadlines. To put yourself at the front of the line, it's best to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after it becomes available on October 1
To find out more about the FAFSA -- including what it asks, what documents you'll need to get started, who you can ask for help, and what happens after you file it -- read the full article at: