Our opinions are our own. For one, the FAFSA is free, while the CSS Profile costs $25 for the application and first college or scholarship program selected, plus another $16 for each additional one. However, if you have not yet done so, you should fill it out as soon as possible. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. Unlike the FAFSA, the CSS Profile has an application fee of $25 — and a fee of $16 for each additional report if you want to submit your profile to more than one school. The CSS Profile is only used by certain schools. I write a lot about the FAFSA, but there’s a second financial aid form that’s also important: the CSS Profile. » MORE: 2021-22 FAFSA checklist The CSS Profile usually wants more information about your family’s finances than the FAFSA. The primary requirement is that the institution’s methodology is applied consistently across all students. So before putting too much energy into figuring out the Profile, you should start by figuring out if you even need to file it. - [Sean] In addition, and there's another form out there that's used by a lot of schools called the CSS Profile, and that can be found on the College Board website. CSS Profile is an online application form which helps the students in applying for financial aid through the college boards, on the other hand, FAFSA is also an online application form very similar to the CSS Profile, but FAFSA provides financial aids via the federal government. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. In some cases, your school or private organizations might ask you to fill out the FAFSA or both to be considered for private aid, while others ask for only the CSS Profile. The Profile assesses income and assets slightly differently from the FAFSA. Apply for student grants and college financial aid using one application form. To pay for college, always submit the FAFSA first. can submit the FAFSA. Returning students who have not received BU need-based scholarship aid in the past are also required to file the CSS Profile™ to apply for BU scholarship aid. CSS Profile. The CSS Profile usually wants more information about your family’s finances than the FAFSA. However, the CSS Profile typically asks for more information regarding finances. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly. Key features of CM are that home equity is capped at 1.2x parent income and student assets are assessed the same as parent assets. Here is a list of our partners. Parents are given a wider range of allowances against assets, such as for emergency savings and private school tuition, and assets are assessed slightly lower– 5% vs 5.64%. This may influence which products we review and write about (and where those products appear on the site), but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. There are a few key differences between the two forms: The Profile considers a broader range of assets than does the FAFSA. FAFSA . The CSS Profile does not. The FAFSA is completely free, and the CSS PROFILE is not. - [Voiceover] And I'm going to fill out the FAFSA, and I'm also going to fill out the CSS Profile, and that's going specifically to private schools, or more often used by them. Any student who is a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen will qualify for some federal student aid, even if that only means federal loans. Unlike the FAFSA, which has a deadline of June 30, 2022, for the 2021-22 school year, the CSS Profile deadline varies. Unlike the FAFSA, information about your small business is evaluated as part of the CSS Profile. The CSS Profile is only used by certain schools, listed on the CSS Profile site, as part of their financial aid process for aid like grants and scholarships. The FAFSA excludes certain assets that the CSS Profile includes: 1. However, given the differences in questions and calculations from school to school, you are better off using individual schools’ net price calculators to get more accurate estimates of your costs. Her work has appeared in The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today. The FAFSA is a government form. $25 for the application and one report to a school. For students whose parents are divorced, the Profile requires both parents to complete it. I help families plan and finance affordable college education. Federal, and sometimes state and institutional. CSS Profile collects information used for financial aid decisions. FAFSA (“Federal”) and CSS PROFILE (“Institutional”) There are certain adjustments in the EFC calculation process that are treated differently between the two financial aid methodologies.. Below you’ll find a summary of many of the differences within the computation elements of the FAFSA and the CSS PROFILE,. Apply for the FAFSA on the Federal Student Aid website or by using the myStudentAid mobile app. This means that submitting the CSS Profile does not impact your federal financial aid, including the. FAFSA vs. CSS Profile – What’s the difference? You must submit the FAFSA every year you're in college if you want to receive aid. And while our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward — and free. Accept grants, scholarships and work-study before student loans. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for federal aid like the Pell Grant, work-study and. The CSS PROFILE costs $25 to file with one school The major difference is that the FAFSA® provides federal grants, loans, and other types of government assistance, and the CSS Profile is an application that universities use to gauge how much non-federal financial aid you need. (the estimated amount your family can afford to contribute toward education costs). (The FAFSA only requires the custodial parent to complete it.). You must also submit the CSS Profile each year, if the application is accepted by the school you attend. You can begin the CSS Profile here. For many families, the most important ones are home equity (although a number of schools have dropped or limited its importance) and non-parent-owned 529 accounts. This video discusses the differences between the CSS Financial Aid PROFILE and the FAFSA. Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. About a fifth of colleges that use the CSS Profile do not consider net home equity, a fifth count the full amount of net hom… NerdWallet’s 2021-22 FAFSA Guide: How to Get Free Money for College. The CSS Profile is administered by the College Board, a nonprofit organization in charge of the SAT, PSAT, AP studies, and College Planning. The FAFSA asks you to include information on your family’s assets and income to calculate an expected family contribution, which is the amount your family will contribute toward paying for school. Thanks! If, for example, the financial debt from a hospital stay is already paid, it will influence how … if you attend most colleges that participate in the Title IV federal financial aid program. The CSS Profile is a financial aid application used by more than 200 colleges, universities, and scholarship programs. The CSS Profile’s calculation is referred to as Institutional Methodology. For example, the … Home equity is based on the. (The FAFSA still counts the net worth of investment real estate, second homes and vacation homes, just not the family home.) But you should submit the application no later than two weeks before the earliest deadline. The FAFSA is free to apply, but not all the aid you receive is free. The FAFSA ignores the net home equity of the family’s principal place of residence. You may also read about - CSS profile vs FAFSA . The main difference between the CSS Profile and the FAFSA is that the FAFSA covers federal aid and the CSS Profile only covers private aid. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. How to Pay for College: 8 Expert-Approved Tips. This means that submitting the CSS Profile does not impact your federal financial aid, including the expected family contribution (the estimated amount your family can afford to contribute toward education costs). You could also complete a PDF online, then print and send by mail. One of the most significant differences between the two forms is cost. The CSS Profile vs. the FAFSA. $16 for each additional report. While all schools use the FAFSA to allocate federal funds such as Direct Student Loans, a subset of schools– primarily private schools– use the CSS Profile in their financial aid calculations. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. Both the FAFSA and the CSS Profile application open Oct. 1 the year before you need financial aid. They have different applications and to be eligible for the most aid, college applicants should complete both for schools that require the CSS Profile… Cost. The application is also often required by states and schools for their own scholarship and grant programs. I’m also a mom to college-aged twins, so I’m right there with you. , an additional application that determines state and institutional financial aid. 1. This typically ranges from $3,000-$6,000. A small number of institutions require that an applicant wishing to be considered for merit (non-need) aid submit the FAFSA, the Profile, or both. This is somewhat misleading insofar as institutions have a great deal of latitude in interpreting the data. You’ll pay an additional $16 per school if you’re applying for aid elsewhere. There are important distinctions to be aware of between the FAFSA and the CSS Profile. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly. The Profile generally uses tax info plus the additional items requested by the FAFSA and then schools may choose to include additional questions. You can submit the CSS Profile only online. A punctual submission can help in a long way and is highly prescribed. . Is pension income that is reported in Box 14 of the W-2 included in any section of the CSS Profile? However, this does not influence our evaluations. The CSS Profile asks for much of the same information as the FAFSA, including tax returns, W-2s, bank statements, and other records of income. Property and Casualty insurance services offered through NerdWallet Insurance Services, Inc.: Licenses, NerdWallet Compare, Inc. NMLS ID# 1617539, NMLS Consumer AccessLicenses and Disclosures, California: California Finance Lender loans arranged pursuant to Department of Financial Protection and Innovation Finance Lenders License #60DBO-74812, Prevent identity theft, protect your credit, The difference between term and whole life insurance, How medical conditions affect your life insurance rate, To get financial aid for college, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or, . These might include questions about the family’s cars, how students got summer jobs, whether parents receive any financial gifts, and more. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for federal aid like the Pell Grant, work-study and federal student loans if you attend most colleges that participate in the Title IV federal financial aid program. Hi, I’m Ann Garcia, CFP®, the College Financial Lady. The Profile includes a mandatory student contribution from income, essentially assuming the student has a part-time or summer job. Generally speaking, nondiscretionary items such as mandatory contributions are not included in either but there isn’t one set of Profile questions as there is for the FAFSA. Some also require that a CSS Profile is also filed. File the FAFSA as close to the start date as possible to improve your likelihood of getting the most grant, scholarship and work-study aid. Here's how the CSS Profile differs from the FAFSA. The CSS Profile vs. the FAFSA The CSS Profile is different from the FAFSA, the free U.S. Department of Education form that determines a student's eligibility for federal financial aid. 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