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Experts Advise Doing FAFSA Forms Early for Best Chance of Aid

Although families could start filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on Jan. 1, many put it off.

However, with dwindling financial-aid dollars, some institutions and states are doling out awards on a first-come, first-serve basis until funds are depleted. Dates vary by state, but some require students to fill out the FAFSA in February and March. (Click here for a list of deadlines by state.) FAFSA must receive applications no later than June 30.

So it's smart to apply now. It's a common misconception to wait until you file your taxes first. Experts say to estimate and get started.

U.S. News and World Report has a good article on how to avoid common mistakes on the financial-aid application.

For more information or help in filling out the FAFSA, go to here or call 1-800-4-FED-AID

You can also follow the U.S. Department of Education for FAFSA advice on Twitter (Twitter handle @FAFSA).

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