It's time to apply for financial aid for college
If someone in your family is headed to college next year, now is the time to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA form. Completing the FAFSA form is not just for federal aid. It also gives you access to all the money available in college grants, loans and work study awards.
The filing season for the 2018-19 academic years opened on October 1, so the clock is ticking.
“The sooner you get your FAFSA done, the more money you're going to get, on average,” said Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Cappex.com, the college and scholarship search website. “People who file it in the first few months tend to get double the financial aid, the grants, of people who file it later."
Filing early is especially important for anyone planning to attend college in Washington.
"Washington state is one of the state grant programs where they money is awarded on a first-come first-served basis, until the money runs out,” Kantrowitz said.
The FAFSA is a free form. You don't need to pay anyone to file it for you. And there is plenty of free help available at the Department of Education’s website StudentAid.ed.gov. Or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID.