Generally you want to file the FAFSA as soon as you can. That’s because some aid sources are available “until funds are depleted”—the early bird gets the worm, as the saying goes. However, keep in mind that your assets are calculated on the date you file. If you have assets in excess of the Asset Protection Allowance (approximately $30,000, depending on parents’ ages, and excluding funds in retirement accounts), you’ll want to make any large purchases you may be considering, and pay any large bills such as your mortgage payment and credit card bill, before filing. Every $1000 extra in your checking or savings account translates into approximately $65 more in EFC. $65 may not seem like a big deal, but keep in mind you will be doing this every year that you have a student in college. Every dollar adds up!