It’s Time to Fill Out a College Financial Aid Form for Fall 2015

The new Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the Fafsa, became available online on Jan. 1. This is the starting point for students and families seeking federal aid. It is used by most states and colleges as part of the student aid process. The form collects financial and personal information about students, and their parents if they are dependents, to determine eligibility for scholarships, grants, work-study awards and loans. It must be completed every school year for students seeking aid.

Ann Carrns wrote an article recently in the New York Times that offered several good pieces of advice and information.

Filing the Fafsa as soon as possible after Jan. 1 increases applicants’ chances of getting the best financial aid packages for which they are eligible. Those who file the form from January through March receive, on average, twice the amount of grant money as those who file later, said Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of the financial aid website