the FAFSA in three ways. But you should submit the application no later than two weeks before the earliest deadline. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. The CSS profile takes several different kinds of revenue, properties, and financial commitments into account, while the FAFSA is based on the planned family commitment. Most schools’ deadlines are between Jan. 1 and March 31. $16 for each additional report. 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. It is recommended to scrutinize the information related to the CSS Profile before taking it under consideration. A small group of schools uses the Profile and FAFSA in what’s called Consensus Methodology. The CSS Profile usually wants more information about your family’s finances than the FAFSA. Other Profile assets include cash value insurance policies and small businesses. Really get to know your money and find cash you can put aside and grow. The CSS Profile is a financial aid application used by more than 200 colleges, universities, and scholarship programs. If, for example, the financial debt from a hospital stay is already paid, it will influence how … The CSS Profile is only used by certain schools. You can find the list of schools that require it here. » MORE: When is the 2021-22 CSS Profile deadline? $25 for the application and one report to a school. The CSS Profile combines the income and assets (even equity in the primary and secondary/vacation homes) of both parents, not just the custodial parent. Anna Helhoski is a writer and NerdWallet's authority on student loans. The primary requirement is that the institution’s methodology is applied consistently across all students. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. There are important distinctions to be aware of between the FAFSA and the CSS Profile. You could also complete a PDF online, then print and send by mail. You must submit the FAFSA every year you're in college if you want to receive aid. The CSS also considers additional factors that will affect your ability to pay for college … The application is also often required by states and schools for their own scholarship and grant programs. These schools wanted to standardize financial aid calculations between themselves. But your school may also want you to submit the CSS Profile, an additional application that determines state and institutional financial aid. There are a few key differences between the two forms: One really important difference between the FAFSA and the Profile is that the first F in FAFSA stands for Free. 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. if you attend most colleges that participate in the Title IV federal financial aid program. Here's how the CSS Profile differs from the FAFSA. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. These might include questions about the family’s cars, how students got summer jobs, whether parents receive any financial gifts, and more. Some also require that a CSS Profile is also filed. To pay for college, always submit the FAFSA first. The federal government awards federal financial aid based on your FAFSA application. 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. 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