ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The date to begin filing for student aid through FAFSA is right around the corner. Beginning Oct. 1, families and students are able to start applying.

News 8’s Ally Peters spoke with CPA David Young, with the New York State Society of CPAs, about what families should know before beginning the process.

Where is the best place for people to start?

Young said it’s important to start gathering everything you need to apply now. You can go to the FAFSA website to log in. The first thing you will need is a username and password.

“If it’s not your first rodeo, you’ll probably still have one from the prior year. If not, if you have a senior in high school, we’re talking about applying for the 23-24 year so that’s next year, when your senior in high school becomes a freshman they’re going to be in going into school for the year 23-24,” Young said.

You will also need your social security number and drivers license, along with your 2021 tax records.

“You still have a couple of weeks if it’s on extension, but you’ll need your ’21 Tax Return to have that all complete, and you’re gonna need all your records of untaxed income, things that don’t necessarily go on your tax return,” Young said.

You also have to have a list of all your assets, which includes savings and checking account balances, and the value of investments (stocks and bonds) and real estate.

The last thing you will need on the form is the list of school(s) you are interested in attending. You can list up to 10 schools at a time on your FAFSA form and Young said you should add any college you’re considering, even if you haven’t applied or been accepted yet.

“You want to get all of that information and get it all in one spot, so you when you apply when the window opens up on the first of October, you have everything all set,” Young said.

Is it important families start applying for FAFSA right away?

“I would say the best time is right away. Sometimes, the schools may run out of financial aid, you don’t know what it’s in their budget,” Young said. “The sooner, the better when it comes to applying for anything, get it in and get it done as quickly as you can.”

Do you think inflation will have an impact on the number of families applying for FAFSA this year?

“I believe so and one thing to also keep in mind: if your ‘21 return is far different, perhaps something happened, it’s out of the ordinary, there is a mechanism, say you have to use your 21 return, but you can explain to the schools or the financial aid folks when you go to the schools, that something’s anomaly happened,” Young said.

“With the inflation being high, this is definitely something you want to do because it’s money that’s out there. We all pitch in and pay our taxes, you might want to try to get what you can for your students.”

To contact a CPA you can click here. To learn more about FAFSA, visit this website.