Demand for student loans is way up, including among high earners who may have experienced job loss and seen their savings dwindle in the last year. Many mistakenly assume that they won't be eligible.

Families should begin the borrowing process by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is available online and is necessary for all federal loans. The application also is necessary to be eligible for many potential scholarships and grants available from schools, states and the federal government.

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