The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® is the financial aid application service of the College Board. Many private colleges and universities require that students submit a CSS PROFILE in addition to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The CSS PROFILE determines your eligibility for non-government financial aid, such as the institutional grants, scholarships and loans. Below is a comparison between the CSS PROFILE and the FAFSA.



  • Submission Allowed - After January 1st
  • Specificity of Questions - Less Specific
  • Methodology - Primarily includes Income Information
  • Minimum Student Contribution - No
  • Cost - Free

The CSS Profile:

  • Submission Allowed - In The Fall
  • Specificity of Questions - More Specific
  • Methodology - Includes Detailed Asset Information
  • Minimum Student Contribution - Yes
  • Cost - $9 Base Fee + $16 Per School

Go Financial Aid offers CSS Profile Preparation services for both current and future college students.

More Information

  • CSS Profile Worksheet - How to practice the CSS Profile and complete a CSS Profile practice worksheet to get the maximum amount of financial aid, scholarships and grants.
  • CSS Profile Deadline for Early Decision - Early decision students must have their information submitted sooner than others. Know when to file the CSS Profile.
  • CSS Profile Calculator - Calculate your estimated financial aid eligibility as calculated by the CSS Profile, using the institutional methodology.
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