BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Hundreds of high school seniors will close one chapter and begin a new one as they will walk across the stage to receive their diploma.

Before they prepare for their new journey, they’ll have one more requirement. Filling out a federal financial aide form, known as FAFSA.

Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan told CBS 42 that this form is a way to encourage students to go to college and assure them that there is money available.

Dr. Sullivan said of the nearly 1,100 seniors graduating more than 700 of them have already completed the FAFSA form.

Birmingham City Schools have also provided opportunities to assist students and parents with this process.

“We have FAFSA opportunities at the schools, with the school counselors and we have FAFSA nights where we give out prizes and gifts to those who complete it.” Sullivan said.

Colleges like Jefferson State Community College are also lending their help to those who need assistance.

Director of financial aid Morgan McCormack said it also benefits students to fill out the form early.

“Some schools give extra aid to base on when you fill out your FAFSA, applying early helps you get extra money as well,” McCormick said.

Sullivan said completing the forms can also help parents understand that there are options available. The FAFSA can be found here.