If you need to apply for federal student aid, starting this year you can submit your FAFSA application on October 1.

This is based on changes that were passed in 2015. One reason this was done is that some of the aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you wait too long to file, those dollars could be gone.

Also, students will now use earlier income information on their applications. This means for the 2017-18 FAFSA, students and parents will report their income information for the 2015 tax year, rather than their 2016 income information.

The form is free to fill out and it can be done online.

You can check out all of the details on the changes here.