CSS Profile Form

Hopefully from reading the FAFSA article in this site, you know that everyone needs to file a FAFSA to be considered for federal, state, and institutional need-based financial aid programs. In addition to the FAFSA, some students will need to file the CSS Profile Form. The CSS Profile Form is a product of The College Board, a non-profit organization, and is required by some colleges, mostly private colleges. Most public schools, such as state colleges, do NOT require the CSS Profile Form (the only publics that require it are UVA, UNC-CH, UMichigan, and UCAL-SF) . A complete list of private schools that require the CSS Profile Form is available on the College Board’s website under the “Pay for College” tab.

The CSS Profile Form is NOT free (for the 2017-18 academic year, the cost is $25 for the initial application and first school report and $16 for each additional report, payable to the College Board), thus you should only file this form if required by the private college. If the student is applying to a private college that requires it, then the CSS Profile From should be filed at least two weeks prior to the college’s financial aid deadline in order to allow time for processing. Be sure to check with your colleges for their specific deadlines.

In order to complete the CSS Profile Form, a student will need to “register” online at The College Board’s site before completing the form. Similar to the FAFSA, the CSS Profile Form collects information on parent and student income and assets, although in greater detail than the FAFSA. For example, home equity information and retirement account information are required data elements on the CSS Profile Form, but not on the FAFSA. In addition, the CSS Profile Form will collect other additional financial details beyond what the FAFSA requires. Students will receive an acknowledgement form after the CSS Profile Form is filed and processed. Colleges will receive the processed information electronically which will remain a part of the student’s financial aid record.

For more information on the Financial Aid Application Process, check out our library of articles.

The College Board only offers an online registration process. Students who do not have computer access at home should visit their high school guidance office for assistance.

REMINDER: Only some schools require this form!

For more useful information about the college financial aid process, including valuable money saving tips, check out Financial Aid $ense! Don’t miss out on financial aid opportunities, pick up a copy of Financial Aid Sense today! 

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Jan Marie Combs, EzineArticles Basic Author