The CSS Profile, short for the College Scholarship Service Profile, is an online application created and maintained by the United States-based College Board that allows college students to apply for non-federal financial aid. This is not a replacement for Federal Aid (FAFSA) and FAFSA is still required as part of your college and/or scholarship applications. Approximately 200+ post-secondary member insttitutions use the CSS Profile to offer a comprehensive look at the financial and family situation of students and their families to use as they determine their eligibility for institutional financial aid. Institutional financial aid is specific to that school.
Similarly to FAFSA, the CSS Profile application opens for seniors on October 1st. To apply, you will use your same login credentials that you created when you registered for your SAT or AP tests (not the ACT). If you do not have an account, you will need to create a new account using your parents information. Unlike FAFSA, which is a free application, the CSS Profile will cost $25. If you need to send your profile to more than one institution, additional fees apply. For our students that are on free and/or reduced lunch, and you meet all of the CSS Profile requirements, you can apply for a fee waiver. Based on the information given, the fee waiver will be automatically applied. East High does not offer fee codes for payment.
The CSS Profile application is very extensive. There are some great walkthrough videos available on YouTube to help your family understand each section of the application. Here is one video that explains the CSS Profile and how to complete the application. Please note that this particular video was filmed prior to this acadmic year. Follow the CSS Profile to know what year you will apply and what year taxes will be required.
How do you know if you need to complete the CSS Profile? Often, it will be listed on the colleges admissions checklist. Take a moment to see if one of your top college picks is on the list! Please note that members are not required to add their name to this list. Always check with the financial aid office at your top college choices to make sure this is or is not required.