(NEWS CENTER) -- When it comes to preparing for College, it's always best to start sooner rather than later and the same goes for applying for financial aid.
While the new academic year doesn't start up until Sept, the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) says families should get serious about financial aid applications.
To help parents navigate the financial aid process, FAFSA help sessions around the state has ongoing support online.This is the 11th year FAME has made these In-Person FAFSA Help Sessions available to Mainers. Over the years FAME has assisted more than 6,000 families.
You can can look for a location near you at FAMEmaine.com
Jackie Ward sat down with Martha Johnson, FAME's Director of Education, to share five tips with families about how and when to get started.
Johnson said, "It can feel overwhelming, so my first tip is just do it don't make any assumptions that you shouldn't apply for Financial aid don't make any assumptions about whether or not you qualify."
Johnson also suggests you apply early, a lot of colleges have deadlines and those deadlines drive who gets the aid, first come first serve.
"Be prepared," Johnson said, "make sure you have your social security card and other income information." She also suggests you do your homework and make sure you know whether or not the school you are applying for has other forms that they require.
Lastly, Johnson tells families to make time to come to the in-person help sessions and to get those forms done early.