For those heading off to college in the fall, you'll want to do yourself a favor and start searching for financial aid, like now.

The first thing you need to do: fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which you can do at

The Huffington Post has a great article on "What You Need to Know About Filing the FAFSA," and it includes information about obtaining a pin number, federal tax returns and more.

Also, make sure you don't make common mistakes when filing the FAFSA, such as using the W-2 instead of the 1040 federal tax form, forgetting to put in stepparent information and missing the March 2 deadline for California.

Lastly, it's never too late to start looking for other ways to get money for school. For example, if you're an African American student, there are plenty of scholarships available that have deadlines in January 2014.

For more information, click here.