Contrary to what many may think, government financial aid is not the only kind of aid out there. There are lots of non-governmental financial aid options out there that can provide you with funding additional to that of the government. The way to obtain this non-governmental aid is to fill out the CSS PROFILE application, which is provided online through the College Board (a non-profit, national association that helps people obtain academic success).
A lot of colleges/universities actually require that applicants fill out the CSS application along with the FAFSA form, so it definitely doesn’t hurt to do so, even if you aren’t necessarily required to do so. It will only benefit you in the long run, as you’ll never know if you can get more than just government aid if you don’t take the steps to find out.
In comparison to the FAFSA, the CSS application consists of more specific questions in regards to assets, requiring detailed accounts of household income/funds. While the FAFSA can only be submitted after January 1st, the CSS application can be submitted as early as the fall, allowing you to know if you are eligible to receive non-governmental aid quite soon in the college process. While the test requires a base fee of $9.00, plus an additional $16.00 per school, it is definitely a small payment worth making to increase your chances of getting more financial aid than the FAFSA itself can offer.
If you are unsure as to how exactly to go about completing this form, you can prepare yourself for the CSS application with the help of financial aid consultants/advisors, as well. More aid can never be a bad thing, and the CSS PROFILE is certainly a viable option in helping you get as much additional funding as possible for your academic career.