Although some of us prefer to put off doing our taxes as late as possible, if you think you might want to go to college anytime in the next year, fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as soon as you have taken care of the chore. You need your tax information for the FAFSA, and the sooner you submit your application, the better. List the schools you think are options, and see what you find out. Be sure to list in the notes area any special burdens that are affecting your situation for funding school, such as medical bills, housing problems, child care issues, etc. When your information has been processed, you will get a SAR (Student Aid Report) telling you how much you are eligible to receive in grants and loans. (I suggest requesting loan funding, because you can always turn it down later if you don’t need a loan, but applying later is much more complicated, and sometimes means you don’t get the money.) It’s worth the time!