GREENSBORO, N.C. -- If you need federal money to pay for college, you need to know this!

Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the first step to finding money to help pray for college.

The FAFSA filing season opened October 1, 2016; three months earlier than normal. The Filing Deadline is June 30, 2018. It sounds far away, but don't wait! Many states including North Carolina award funds on a first come, first serve basis.

"The sooner the FAFSA is complete, the sooner the student and family will get information about the possibility of qualifying for financial aid," said Takeila Barnes Hall, a regional CFNC Representative. "To be considered for a share of the billions of dollars available in federal and state aid to students with financial need, you must apply. The FAFSA is one of the documents that many schools consider when awarding scholarships."

Students attending college in Fall 2017 can get in-person help applying for financial aid on FAFSA Day, coming up this Saturday on October 29, 2016 from 9a.m. to 12p.m. at most locations. Events will be taking place across the state.

Tips for being prepared for FAFSA Day or completing the FAFSA on your own include:

• Get a Federal Student Aid Identification (FSAID) in advance. Both student and a parent's FSA IDs will be required to access the FAFSA, therefore, getting them in advance from the U.S. Department of Education website, will speed up the process.

• Have your 2015 tax information. If the student and parents' 2015 taxes have been filed, most participants can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA. However, if 2015 completed tax forms are not available, having 1040 tax forms or W-2 forms and other income and asset documents in hand will be helpful.

• Before FAFSA Day, it is also helpful to complete a FAFSA on the web worksheet with as much information entered as possible. The online worksheet will be available by October 1, 2016 at

For in-person help filing the FAFSA in the state of North Carolina, students and families are invited to attend a FAFSA Day on Saturday, October 29. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged for FAFSA Day. Go to or call 866-866-CFNC toll-free for a list of event sites and register for the one nearest you.

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