(CNN) – Monday, Oct. 1 is the first-day college-bound students can submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – or FAFSA.
And this year, college hopefuls can fill out their FAFSA on a mobile app for the first time.
According to the National College Access Network, only 61 percent of high school students apply by the time they graduate, leaving more than $24 billion in state and federal aid on the table.
This year, the U.S. Department of Education is making the process smoother by making the form available through the brand-new “My Student Aid” app.
The FAFSA website is also sporting a new “mobile-friendly” design that’s easier to use on a smartphone or tablet.
But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed: the number of questions. You can still expect to answer all 100 of them.
However, the Department of Education said it’s arranged the questions differently to help applicants navigate the site.
Assistance is also available on a first-come, first served basis. So, experts recommend you submit the form as early as possible.
Experts also said the changes will likely encourage students to fill out the form themselves instead of asking their parents.
Current and prospective college students have until the last day of the academic year to submit their FAFSA – although deadlines vary depending on the state and college.
Experts recommend you do your research to make sure you submit the form on time.
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