Students whose families want to apply for financial aid can start with the following resources. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a great place to start. Many private colleges will also require the CSS profile. Families will need to file the FAFSA each year while the student is in college.
The FAFSA should be submitted as close to January 1 as possible. Start the process in the fall to obtain your pin number and begin the process using worksheets available through the FAFSA website. That way, when the application opens on January 1 you will be ready to go.