The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application period began October 1, and families in Illinois with a college-bound student should fill out the form as quickly as possible. The reason for that is that Illinois’s Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants are provided on a first-come, first-served basis until the funds are depleted, and the state usually provides no more than a 24-hour warning for when those funds are gone.

When filling out the FAFSA, be sure to avoid these 12 common mistakes:

  1. Not completing the FAFSA form.
  2. Not using the correct website.
  3. Not filling out the FAFSA form as soon as it’s available.
  4. Not filing the FAFSA form by the deadline.
  5. Not getting an FSA ID before filling out the FAFSA form.
  6. Not suing your FSA ID to start the FAFSA form.
  7. Not using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT).
  8. Not reading definitions carefully.
  9. Inputting incorrect information.
  10. Not reporting required information.
  11. Listing only one college.
  12. Not signing the FAFSA form.

Finally, don’t forget to check out the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) website for additional information and help in filling out the FAFSA.