A big change is happening for students going to college.
FAFSA - The Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
ismoving up the date you can apply to October 1st.
That's three months earlier than before and Consumer
Reports says it is important to get your application
in as soon as possible.
News eight's Martha Koloski has more in On Your Side.
Jeralyn Escamilla is a high school senior with big
But she'll need loans to pay for college.
I want to pursue a career in medicine, and those careers
tend to be a little big more expensive.
Being able to apply for financial aid earlier will
help Jeralyn and her family make more informed decisions
about college affordability.
Here's how it works: Submit the FAFSA form.
You'll get a Student Aid Report that tells you what
federal aid you quality for, like Pell grants or work
Then enter that information into the net price calculator
on any college's website or on College Abacus-dot-org
to get a good idea of what a college will cost you
before you apply.
It's important to apply for FAFSA as son after the
October first launch as possible.
Many state, college and scholarship programs need
your FAFSA to determine how much aid you're going
to get and often it's on a first come first serve
Be aware if you're heading to college in 2017, your
aid package will be based on your family's 2015 taxes.
You can use the IRS data-retrieval tool on the FAFSA
form to directly import your tax infomation.
Don't worry if you don't know all the schools you
want to apply to.
List all the college you are considering to hold your
placein line for financial aid.
You can always add more schools later on.
Jeralyn plans to apply for FAFSA as soon as she can.
So, the sooner I get in my paperwork the faster I
get results for money and I can make a college choice.
And remember you must reapply for FAFSA every year.
So the new applcation date also means getting earlier
notice if your aid package changes.
Consumer reports also advises to be very mindful when
filling out all the forms.
or incorrect information can slow down the process
and cost you thousands of dollars in aid.