You'll need to be sure you submit every financial aid application required of the colleges to which you're applying. All colleges require the FAFSA, since it's the means by which you'll be able to access federal loans as well as other federal programs, such as the Pell Grant, SEOG, and Work Study. Private colleges tend to require the CSS/Profile and, if your parents are not married to each other, there's a "Noncustodial Profile" to submit too. The financial aid applications are not difficult, but they can be tedious and require you and your parents to gather quite a bit of financial information. Just like applications to colleges, it's very important to pay close attention to deadlines. And, it's important to apply for financial aid even before you know whether or not you've been offered admission; the admissions process and the financial aid process are independent of each other.