The CSS/PROFILE Financial Aid Application

Q: What is the The CSS/PROFILE Financial Aid Application, and how can I know if I will need to file a CSS/PROFILE Financial Aid Application?

A: The CSS/PROFILE is a financial aid application similar to the FAFSA, with the difference being The CSS/PROFILE is used by mainly private schools and scholarship programs to determine financial need to award non-federal government student aid.

To know if your college or university will require you to complete a CSS/PROFILE application to be eligible for need-based financial aid, you will need to ask the financial aid department at each college you apply to. The application period for The CSS/PROFILE Financial Aid Application is typically November 1st through February 15th. Unlike the FAFSA, The CSS/PROFILE Financial Aid Application does carry a cost of $25 (which includes one school report) there is an additional $16 charge for each additional college you wish your information to be sent.

Similar to the FAFSA you (and your parents) will need to have some financial documents available in order to complete The CSS/PROFILE Financial Aid Application: U.S. income tax returns. W-2 forms and other records of money earned in the year. Current bank statements. Records of untaxed income benefits for the year. Records of savings, stocks, bonds, trusts, and other investments. The CSS/PROFILE Financial Aid Application can be completed online, and like the FAFSA it will allow you to make any necessary corrections to the application after you and your parents have completed your federal tax returns.

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