On Jan. 1, the 2011-12 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be available for students seeking college financial assistance. FAFSA is not only used to determine eligibility for Pell Grants and Stafford Loans, but also by colleges and universities to determine eligibility for grants and scholarships. Many colleges and universities require the FAFSA even for non-need based sources of funds.

The deadlines for filing the FAFSA are dictated by the colleges' financial aid priority deadlines, which can be found at college websites.

The form can be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

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