All students that apply for college need to also apply for financial aid, even if you think you will not receive any. Financial aid is determined from the student and parent tax information from the previous fiscal year. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is filled out after January 1, and you should check your particular college's priority deadline to make sure you get yours in on time. The sooner the better. (A hint: You can use prior year's data as an estimate, and then go back in and update to the past fiscal year data) If you have had a change in circumstance in your family income, that will not be reflected in your prior year's tax return, you should contact your financial aid advisor at your particular college to let them know of this change.
NEW: as of May 10, 2015 - students, parents, and borrowers are required to use an FSA ID, made up of a username and password, to access certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID is used to confirm your identity when accessing your financial aid information and electronically signing your federal student aid documents.
Tool for estimation of Fin. Aid Package: FAFSA4caster