It's Financial Aid Awareness Week in North Carolina.
Governor Roy Cooper gave the week this designation to encourage families to learn more about the process of applying for aid and for college.
There are some changes this year to the application process for federal aid which parents and students need to know.
This year, for the first time, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application period began Oct. 1, 2016.
In the past, applicants had to wait until Jan. 1.
This gives students applying to college for the fall of 2017 an earlier start to determine their eligibility for financial assistance.
The FAFSA is available online at www.fasfa.gov.