If someone in your family will attend college during the 2013-14 academic year, now is the time to be working on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. While this process is specifically for federal aid programs, many other grant and scholarship programs rely on that data when determining which students are in most need of assistance.

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators has compiled a helpful list of tips as you work through the filing process, specifically common mistakes. They include:

Failing to use your legal name: Your name must be listed on your FAFSA as it appears on your Social Security card. Don’t enter nicknames or other variations on your name.

Entering the wrong address: Don’t enter a temporary campus or summer address as your permanent address.

Entering the wrong federal income tax paid amount: This amount is on your income tax return forms, not your W‐2 form(s). If you haven’t filed your taxes, you can estimate this amount using previous tax year information and correct the amounts later on the corrections page of the FAFSA website.

If you would like free, hands-on help with the FAFSA application, look up the College Goal Sunday event near you. Monroe County Community College in Monroe, Mich., is one of the host sites.

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