HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The priority deadline for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as FAFSA, is March 1.
Sara Bright, the college access and success programs coordinator of Alabama Possible, said it's important to apply before the deadline because a lot of scholarships are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis.
"We know that students who complete the FAFSA before the priority deadline are automatically considered for scholarships that can help pay for college," she explained. "The most important thing is students always want to be the first in line because some financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis."
This year they have over $150 billion worth of financial aid in the form of grants, work-study, and federal student loans.
Bright provided some tips for students completing their FAFSA application. The most important: Be sure to save your password.
She recommended emailing it to yourself with the subject, "FSA I.D."
She also said if your parents know which address they used to file their taxes, they can use that information to make the application easier.
"The most important thing when you complete your FAFSA is to always use the IRS data retrieval tool," Bright added.
This year, there's a new way to make your FAFSA application even simpler - Use their new app.
"There's a new mobile app, it's available on Apple and Android devices," Bright continued. "So students and parents can log in and complete it that way."
The app is called MyStudentAid, and all you need to log in is your FSA ID.
Once logged in, the app will tell you how to complete your application if you haven't already and show you the grants, scholarships or loans you have.