FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For college-bound students, an important deadline is fast approaching and Valley educators are urging them to fill out this important financial aid form before it's too late.
Bullard High School senior Amani Higgins says college has always been her number one goal.
"College for me is the main thing," said Higgins. "I know I have a goal for my life and I know if I'm going to complete something like seeking a higher education, that you have to complete the slow steps to doing it."
Before she could set foot inside a four-year university, she knew she had to fill out her FAFSA.
"I am the first generation in my family to attend college," said Higgins. "I had no idea where I was going to get my money from, so FAFSA was the thing to do."
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the first step toward unlocking thousands of dollars in aid. It can range from two free years of community college to help with educational expenses like room and board.
"It is critical they complete the FAFSA," said Gloria Ponce Rodriguez with FUSD College and Career Readiness.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, educators are struggling to get the word out to students at a time when that financial aid matters most.
"We want to make sure that our students, not just at Fresno Unified but the whole Valley, there's a lot of students out there eligible for money and they're not aware, especially our first-gen," said Rodriguez.
Fresno Unified is providing free workshops to help students and parents fill out the form.
"It pays for your books, it pays for your tuition, it pays for your fees," added Higgins.
If you need assistance filling out your FAFSA, contact your high school counselor or visit studentaid.gov. The California deadline is March 2.
FAFSA deadline coming up, Valley educators reminding students
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