Planning Steps to consider NOW:
Start collecting your family's financial records, which you'll need to complete the FAFSA and other financial aid forms in early January. Remind your parents to save their year-end payroll stubs that show earnings for the year.
Apply for a federal username and password now. You will use these to e-sign your FAFSA and make corrections later if needed. Unless you are an independent student (your dependency status is determined through a series of questions on the FAFSA), one of your parents will also need to get a username and password to e-sign the FAFSA. You'll need to have your Social Security number available.
If you're a male and of 18 to 25 years of age, you must register with the Selective Service to be eligible for federal and state student aid. You can register when you complete your FAFSA, or do so at your school, or post office, or online at http://www.sss.gov.
The FAFSA is required by all schools and must be completed to receive any federal aid.
Begin working on any financial aid forms as soon as you receive them. Fill out and file the CSS Profile form for colleges that require it, if you haven't already done so.
Check your mailbox or e-mail for acceptance letters and financial aid offers if you applied under an Early Decision program.
If you haven not already done so, make sure your official test scores are being sent to the colleges to which you are applying.
Schedule any remaining required interviews.
Begin educating yourself about various types of student loans.
Continue looking and applying for scholarships and grants.