First things first: In the form's acronym lies the secret to avoiding the money pitfalls--FAFSA is short for "FREE Application for Federal Student Aid." Yeah, I know, filling it out is time-consuming, but it's doable. It's also complex and requires information that you're going to have to bird-dog, but it is free.
With billions of dollars available annually for students to pay for their education, most college students utilize at least one type of financial aid. Financial aid options come from federal and state governments, individual colleges, or private organizations, and is available in the following forms.