Financial aid is awarded each academic year. You must reapply for financial aid every year that you plan to attend college.
This means you must file the FAFSA every year, as soon after January 1st as possible.
You'll receive an email or postcard from the U.S. Department of Education in January or February reminding you to use your ED PIN to reapply for federal student aid by completing a new FAFSA. If you're reapplying for federal student aid, you'll be given the option to have your FAFSA partially completed for you using information from last year's application.
Don't forget to reapply for grants and scholarships as well. Check with your college for all returning student deadlines. These deadlines will be different from your first year. The forms get easier, too. Many are pre-filled with prior year's information and all you have to do is update your information.