Need money to go to college in the fall? Make sure you have your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) done before June 30, 2018.

The FAFSA can help you receive up to $6,195 in grants and thousands of dollars in loans to help pay for technical and academic programs after high school. How much aid you get may be on a first-come, first-served basis. Filing early is the best way to maximize your financial aid.

By filing before June 30, 2018, for the 2018-2019 school year, you should get your financial aid at the beginning of the semester. If you file later, you may need to pay for the semester’s tuition upfront and wait for a refund. For many students, that means they can’t start school in August.

As always, deadlines vary by college and state, so talk with your school’s financial aid department and or go to the Federal Student Aid website.

If you are currently enrolled in college and haven’t filed your FAFSA for the 2017-2018 school year, June 30, 2018, is the final deadline for you to submit your FAFSA and receive financial aid for the past school year. Corrections or updates must be submitted by midnight CST on September 15, 2018.

The FAFSA can be completed online or in paper form and sent by mail. To learn more and get started, visit https://fafsa.ed.gov/options.htm.

*Note: The text was updated to reflect a $100 increase in the maximum Pell Grant award for the 2019-2020 academic year.