By Tim Kowols
Students and their parents applying for financial aid for post-secondary education can get a head start on the process. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2017-2018 school year has been available online since October 1, two months earlier than before. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says a little guesswork is required because of tax returns not being available yet, but there is some benefit to sending in the paperwork ahead of time.
Pustaver warns students and their parents to be wary of the estimated family contribution number that comes weeks after filing.
According to FAFSA, the federal program is used by 13 million students, accounting for $150 billion in aid through grants, loans, and work-study options.