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Submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) every year, even if you think you don't qualify for aid. Being rejected for federal aid is sometimes a prerequisite for private awards. Some federal aid, such as the unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the PLUS Loan, is available without regard to financial need. And who knows, you just might qualify! Don't forget to apply for federal aid as soon as possible after January 1. [This tip is for US citizens only; International students should visit www.edupass.org.]