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Helpful Hints for Applying

  1. Complete all required forms by the deadlines.
  2. Complete all questions accurately; plan to meet early deadlines, if applicable.
  3. Don't wait until you are admitted to a college to file the FAFSA. File the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1. To figure out what to file, use the FAFSA When? Calculator.
  4. Keep a photocopy of all documents for your records.
  5. Use your full legal name - no nicknames - on all applications.
  6. The name on your application must match the name on your social security card.

Josh Stacey, a student at Kansas State University, took out all the subsidized loans he could - both Direct and Perkins loans - and his parents took out a PLUS loan so that he could afford to attend his college in Salina, Kansas.

Stacey recommends applying early and making sure that all necessary forms are filled out. His aid was delayed for half a semester because he hadn't filled out a form stating that he was a dependent of his parents.

"I didn't turn that in because I didn't know I needed to," he says.