Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - What is the CSS?
The College Scholarship Services Profile is used in addition to the FAFSA and helps colleges determine aid that is NOT federally funded; awards that come from the college itself or other private sources.
The CSS Profile part of the financial aid division of the College Board(the same folks who bring you the SAT and AP tests) so you probably already have an account with login etc. so at least that is done. Over 400 colleges and universities require the CSS as part of the admissions/financial aid process, so check with your individual prospects to see if it is required. In addition to it being much more comprehensive than the FAFSA, it also ISN'T free. It is $25 to complete the profile and that includes your first school report. Additional reports are $9 each. I know that cost adds up (especially when combined with SAT score fees, application fess etc.) but it is worth your time and money. Most private schools (which are the ones that usually require the CSS) have more funding to give away than public institutions. The CSS is the gateway to that money.
Like the FAFSA, the CSS profile opens October 1st as well and there are deadlines set by each institution. Since Oct. 1st is Sunday, carve out a good chunk of time and get the FAFSA and CSS report done. You'll be glad you did!