Student Life

Financial Aid They Forget to Mention: CSS Profile

Kaylen Phillips, Student Contributor

October 17, 2017

Financial Aid They Forget to Mention: CSS Profile
Do you know the secret to paying the least for your college experience?
Almost everyone knows about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). What many students and parents aren’t aware of, however, is the CSS Profile.

What is it?

The CSS Profile is a financial aid application that grants privately funded aid specific to the institutions you are applying to. For some colleges and universities, this application is mandatory in order to qualify for any form of private aid scholarships. There are 300 colleges and universities listed, so be sure to check if your dream school is on there!

How is it different from the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is available to all students planning to attend any form of post-secondary institution since it provides the amount of federally funded aid for an individual student. The CSS Profile is available, and sometimes even required, for the 300 colleges and universities listed.

Are there any fees?

Unlike the FAFSA, the CSS Profile is not free. There is a $25 fee for the first application, and $16 for each additional. There are fee waivers available.

“CSS Profile fee waivers will be automatically granted to entering undergraduate students who are experiencing hardship due to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria based on disaster areas designated by FEMA.”

What do I need to complete it?

The CSS Profile website is run by the same administration as CollegeBoard, so having that account information and passwords will be useful. According to the CSS Profile website, you will need: •Student's and parent's SSN or SIN numbers, if applicable
•2016 federal income tax return(s)
•W-2 forms and other records of money earned in 2016 and 2017
•Records of untaxed income and benefits for 2016 and 2017
•Current bank statements
•Current mortgage information
•Records of savings, stocks, bonds, trusts, and other investments
•The student's noncustodial parent's email address, if applicable

How much time do I have?

Applications opened October 1st. Just like FAFSA applications, it helps to complete these early! The process takes anywhere from forty-five minutes to two hours. Don't make the mistake of forgetting about it!

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