While the FAFSA is an application for aid from the federal government, the CSS Profile is an application for aid directly from colleges and from scholarship programs. by Shannon Vasconcelos, former financial aid officer at Tufts University. The CSS Profile uses “Institutional Methodology”, which takes a more rounded look at a student’s financial situation, looking at factors such as home value, non-custodial parent income, and medical expenses. The CSS Profile costs $9 initially then $16 for each school you apply to. Among these are top colleges and the Ivy League, so if you plan on applying to some of the best schools in the nation, it’s in your best interest to learn what the CSS Profile is and to make sure that you know what to expect when completing it. The CSS Profile is a financial aid application used by 400 colleges and universities to award grants and scholarships. It’s also important to point out that, unlike the FAFSA application for federal financial aid, the CSS Profile isn’t free. The CSS Profile Has a Fee to File. Need more information before getting started with your CSS Profile application? We plan to file the FAFSA and the CSS profile at each school to which our daughter is attending. Helpful Tips and Resources. Hi guys, my dad was filling out the CSS for an early decision deadline and told me that he doesn't think we have a chance of getting any financial aid. Give yourself time to consider schools and programs to send it to. 5. It might not be worth submitting it if it’s not required by your school. They may earn very good incomes or have lots of investments or home equity. While the FAFSA is free — thus the name Free Application for Federal Student Aid — the CSS Profile costs $25 for the initial application and submission to one college. Spending money to get need-based financial aid is an unfortunate necessity. CSS Profile worth it? The Flexibility. The CSS Profile also considers special circumstances that affect your ability to pay for school. CSS Profile applications open on Oct. 1 each year. . Fortunately, the College Board does offer up to waive the fee for up to eight applications. Over 400 schools use the CSS Profile to determine their financial aid offers to prospective students. Investing the money to see what aid you qualify for may be worth the cost. We do not want to appear to the schools we believe based our income that we need financial aid. College Coach’s finance experts are flooded this time of year with some variation of the question, “Do I need to complete a FASFA if I’m not going to qualify for financial aid?” having an income over 500,000 we assume we will not be eligible for financial aid. October 2011 edited October 2011 in Financial Aid & Scholarships. The CSS Profile isn’t free — it costs $16 for every school or scholarship program you send it to, unless you can qualify for a fee waiver. Highlights – Tour our CSS Profile Overview; Documents at the ready – You will need your most recently completed tax returns, W-2 forms and other records of current year income, records of untaxed income and benefits, assets and bank statements. Many families wonder whether it’s worth the time and trouble to complete the basic college financial aid application used by the vast majority of colleges (FAFSA) or the one used by more exclusive colleges (CSS Profile). Seahawks506 2471 replies 55 threads Senior Member. Submit it along with the FAFSA. With college application season just wrapping up, many families’ thoughts are turning to financial aid. It may seem ironic that an application for financial aid costs money, but yes, in fact, the CSS Profile does. We are here to help. The CSS Profile is a financial aid application that you fill out through the College Board. On the application do you we Mark not pursuing financial aid. 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