How to get help filling out your FAFSA before the deadline

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Free Application for Federal Student Aid deadline for state financial aid is fast approaching and it's not too late for your students to cash in on some college aid.

Keano Chhoeun says when he first started the process, he wasn't sure how to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as FAFSA.

"It stressed me out," Chhoeun said. "And made me feel like I'm not going to be able to go to college, or I'm not going to be able to afford it."

Weeks later the Sunnyside High School senior knows he's headed to college thanks to the FAFSA. Chhoeun was just accepted to Fresno State and said it was school counselors that showed him the ropes.

The FAFSA deadline is just one week away, and students still have time to take advantage of it.

"It's a lot of money to just let out the window, especially when you're trying to prepare," says Dr. Gloria Ponce Rodriguez with FUSD Financial Literacy.

"We need more graduates in our region, and it's very critical that students and parents are aware of the opportunities," Dr. Rodriguez added.

The FAFSA is a form for incoming and future college students that determines their eligibility for financial aid. There's some big money at stake.

"Most of our students are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and also Cal Grant, so most of our students will receive or are guaranteed almost $8,000," said Rodriguez.

If you, or your student, are just starting your FAFSA, don't worry! There are workshops happening all across the Central Valley in the upcoming week.

If you're tackling the challenge yourself, counselors say to make sure to answer all the questions and to check your emails.

"The email may be something from the college or university asking for different types of forms to be completed," Dr. Rodriguez explained.

Here's a list of the upcoming workshops:

Fresno State
Date: Thursday, February 27
Location: Kremen Education Building - Room 169
Time: 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Reedley College
Date: Friday, February 28
Location: BUS 49
Time: 11 am to 1 pm

Date: Tuesday, March 17
Location: CTL 1
Time: 2 pm - 4 pm

UC Merced
Date: Tuesday, February 25
Location: California Room
Time: 11am-1pm

Date: Thursday, February 27
Location: COB 113
Time: 9 am - 10 am

Date: Monday, March 2
Location: SAAC 219
Time: 10 am - 6 pm

Fresno Unified School District
Date: Monday, March 2
Location: Manchester Center, 3402 N Blackstone Avene, Suite 245
Time: 9 am - 6 pm

For more Financial Aid Application workshops for high school students, be sure to check with your high school counselor. You can also search for free Cash for College Workshops in their area online at www.cash4college.csac.ca.gov,
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.