Although many students and their families believe that a student must be accepted by a particular school before they fill out their FAFSA, this is a misconception. Experts advise that students in their senior year of high school fill out their FAFSA at the same time they apply to colleges. There are several reasons to fill out a FAFSA early.

Supply and Demand – Thousands of students each year apply for federal financial aid. There is only a certain amount of money to go around, and it is given, for the most part, on a first-come, first-serve basis. A student who fills out their FAFSA late, regardless of their academic standing or financial status, may miss out on available grants or loans.

Transferability – In most cases, the FAFSA paperwork is fully transferable between schools. This means that once you've filled out your FAFSA, you're done – there's no need to fill out a new one for each school. Senior year is a busy time for students and their families, so it makes sense to get this important task out of the way as early as possible.

Speed – Some school have additional paperwork which they must file along with your FAFSA, such as a home equity estimate. Having your FAFSA prepared ahead of time gives you the best chance of receiving financial aid because it gives each school a chance to fill out all their necessary paperwork as soon as possible.

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