Keep Files on Every Application
Once you've found lots of financial aid to apply for, you'll need to keep everything straight. Every source of financial aid has its own rules, requirements and deadlines, and you can lose an award if you don't jump through the right hoops. Keep a separate file (the old-fashioned paper kind) for each financial aid package you're applying for, and have a cover sheet in each file that lists the important deadlines. Any time you submit an application online, print a copy of the submission page, which should give you a confirmation number and the exact time and date of your submission [source: Free Application for Federal Student Aid].