Tempe, Arizona (NAPSI) - Education pays. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, high school graduates average, in a working lifetime, $1.2 million; college graduates, $2.1 million. Getting the money to pay for an education, however, can seem daunting. Fortunately for many high school students, these tips may help:

• Start early - In sophomore year, students should begin collecting and organizing applications, recommendations, test scores, essays and transcripts.

• Know who you are Certain college scholarships depend on ethnic, religious or professional affiliations.

• Get government money—Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. It’s online at www.fafsa.ed.gov, or call (800) 4-FED-AID to apply for grants, scholarships and loans from the U.S. government. Just remember, male students, 18 and older, must be registered with Selective Service to be eligible for Pell Grants, College Work Study, Guaranteed Student/PLUS Loans and National Direct Student Loans. Registration forms are at the post office and online at www.sss.gov.