CSS Financial Aid Profile

What is the CSS Financial Aid Profile?

Many students often confuse the CSS Profile form with the FAFSA form. The main difference between the CSS Profile form and the FAFSA form is the type of aid they help you to apply for.

The CSS Profile is a financial aid application service provided by the College Board that is used to apply for private scholarships and institutional grant programs offered by individual schools.

The FAFSA, on the other hand, is used to apply for Federal programs.  Unlike the FAFSA, which is free to complete, the CSS Profile form costs around $25 to create and submit to one school. Each additional school costs around $16 per submission. A limited amount of fee waivers are available to low-income families.

How do I know if I need to apply for this?

The CSS Profile form only covers a certain group of schools, so you should check the “Participating Programs List” on the College Board website before you spend the time and money to apply.

How do I become eligible for CSS aid?

Unlike the FAFSA, which is calculated based on a strict formula across all students nationwide, the CSS Profile form allows colleges to calculate aid eligibility for their own programs based on whatever criteria they set.  Therefore, the questions on one school’s CSS Profile may vary drastically from another.

Oftentimes, this form considers items that are not considered on the FAFSA form, such as: the value of a parent’s home, insurance contract values, and annual retirement plan contributions.

Where can I find this form?

CLICK HERE to fill out the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE.

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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