Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA applications can be submitted starting on Jan.1, and experts say the earlier students apply, the more aid they're likely to get.
The nationwide financial aid application helps students get money from three main sources: the federal government, state governments and schools. Funding includes scholarships, grants and work-study jobs.
Experts say there's no need to wait for tax returns to apply; applications can be updated with exact numbers at a later date.
The form is free to file and takes about half an hour to fill out. For more information and to fill out a FAFSA, visit http://fafsa.ed.gov.
FAFSA college financial aid applications being accepted