Right now, the pandemic is causing chaos and uncertainty for colleges and students. But it won’t always be that way. And if you have children who will be heading off to school in the next few years, you’re probably thinking about more typical concerns — such as expenses. How will you pay for the high costs of higher education?

Most colleges do offer financial aid packages that can greatly help with these expenses. But it pays to know, well in advance, how financial aid works. And the key platform for determining much of your child’s financial aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In fact, if you have children starting college next year, now is the time to get going on the FAFSA, which became available Oct. 1 for the 2021-22 award year.

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