This step goes along with applying for scholarships and revolves around a form called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Every student needs to fill out this form and send it to a central processor. This form asks questions about your parents' income, taxes, etc. The form cannot be filed before Jan. 1 (of your senior year) but should ideally be filed by Mar. 1.
Filling out the FAFSA is a potentially nerve-wracking experience, but we're here to help. We've answered pretty much any question there is about the FAFSA form and we'll be able to get the information your family needs to successfully complete this form. The FAFSA website also offers a worksheet to fill out before you fill out the FAFSA. It seems silly to have a form for a form, but it might help clarify terms or how to calculate particular figures. One benefit is that you'll only have to fill out one FAFSA for all the college you apply to. Also, the renewal form is much shorter.
While filling out the FAFSA, have each the federal code handy for each college you're applying to. Northern's code is 002301.
There is more information on this topic under NMU's information on financial aid or you can ask your guidance counselor for more information.