February 1st is the priority deadline for most colleges and universities for submission of financial aid forms for the incoming freshman class. That means that families who submit their financial aid forms by today are eligible for the maximum amount of need-based financial aid available to them. Now, if this pertains to you and you haven't done your forms yet, don't panic. It's better to get them in late than never. Just be sure to kick things into high gear right now.
Many families make the common mistake of waiting until their complete their tax return before filing their financial aid forms so that they can use exact numbers. However, the main financial aid form out there - the FAFSA - allows families to use estimated tax numbers and then go back later on and update the forms with the actual numbers. As a rule, it's always better to get the forms in sooner with estimates than later with exact figures. You'll usually get the most bang for your buck that way.