Nontraditional students often have the misconception that aid is intended only for high school students entering college. Luckily, that's not the case.
"Financial aid doesn't care how old you are. It's an ageless system," said Gen Tanabe, co-author of 501 Ways for Adult Students to Pay for College.
In fact, as an independent student, you're eligible for higher limits on unsubsidized Stafford loans. Fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which the U.S. Department of Education uses to determine your aid eligibility.
If you want to start school this fall, submit your form now. Even if you think you're not eligible, try.