Students planning to go to college during the 2018-19 academic year can complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on or after Oct. 1, 2017 using 2016 income tax data.

Before starting the FAFSA, students should create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) at fsaid.ed.gov. Parents of dependent students must also create one. The IDs are needed to access and sign the FAFSA.

Colleges will use the results of the FAFSA to determine the types and amount of financial aid they will award. This could be a combination of scholarships, grants, work-study and student loans.

EducationQuest Foundation provides free FAFSA tools at EducationQuest.org to help families through the process. For free personal help, call the EducationQuest location nearest you to set up an appointment: Omaha – 888-357-6300; Lincoln – 800-303-3745; Kearney – 800-666-3721; or Scottsbluff − 800-303-3745, ext. 6654.

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