Students can prepare for college by defining their goals and interests, understanding the costs, and planning academically and financially.

The first step when applying for college for all students is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is a form that needs to be filed annually to determine financial aid eligibility for students and those planning to attend college. Regardless of income level, every college student should file a FAFSA each year. The deadline for filing for the 2019-2020 academic year is April 15, 2019.

New college students and those returning for the 2019-2020 school year can now fill out the FAFSA form from their smartphones. The My Student Aid app can be used to complete the FAFSA or check federal student aid history. Not only is this convenient, but it is also beneficial to those who may rely on their phones for internet access.

The FAFSA can also be filled out online at www.fafsa.gov. If you need assistance submitting the application, call 1-800-4FED-AID.

There are several types of financial aid available, including help for those serving in the military, tax benefits for education, vouchers for current and former foster care youth, and scholarship and loan repayments through the Department of Health and Human Services. Click here to explore different types of financial aid.

The State of Indiana also offers a variety of student financial aid. To learn more about financial aid opportunities in Indiana, click here.