How A CSS Profile Impacts College Aid

My Ideal College shares what a CSS Profile is and how it impacts financial aid

This week’s blog covers the last bit of my interview with Jim Anderson of Making College Worth it.  If you miss the last two segments, Easy Tips to Reduce College Debt and Navigating the Confusing College Aid System, click on the titles to access.

One of the biggest aha-ha’s I got from my meeting with Jim is learning about the CSS Profile. I didn’t know about it at all before I met with him.

It turns out for financial aid that some colleges require FAFSA and some require a CSS Profile. CSS stands for College Scholarship Service. FAFSA provides federal aid through grants and loans. The CSS Profile provides aid through the state and the institution.

Jim says typically, the higher end colleges like Duke, Dartmouth, and Harvard use the CSS Profile. You can click here to see the list.

The way the CSS Profile looks at your assets for financial aid is very different than FAFSA. Also, not all schools are the same. While there is one FASFA form that is used across colleges, the CSS Profile is unique to the specific college. For example, one college may include looking at your home equity and another may not.

The biggest tip Jim has is to go to the net price calculator on the prospective college’s website. Inputting your data will give you an idea of how they are looking at your assets to determine need. You can click here to find the Net Price Calculator for any school you are considering.

If you want to learn more about FASFA, read my blog Navigating the Confusing Financial Aid System.

What questions do you have when it comes to funding your child’s college tuition? Let us know in the comments below and we will get the answer for you.

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