FAFSA and/or CSS?

Do I apply to one or both...Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), College Scholarship Service (CSS)? I see most of the colleges and universities are using FAFSA. But, I don't want to miss out any potential aid opportunities. 

3 Answers

David Wagner Points0
You'll need to be sure you submit every financial aid application required of the colleges to which you're applying. All colleges require the FAFSA, since it's the means by which you'll be able to access federal loans as well as other federal programs, such as the Pell Grant, SEOG, and Work Study. Private colleges tend to require the CSS/Profile and, if your parents are not married to each other, there's a "Noncustodial Profile" to submit too. The financial aid applications are not difficult, but they can be tedious and require you and your parents to gather quite a bit of financial information. Just like applications to colleges, it's very important to pay close attention to deadlines. And, it's important to apply for financial aid even before you know whether or not you've been offered admission; the admissions process and the financial aid process are independent of each other.
Jon Semcer Points0
If you are applying Early Decision with deadlines before December 1 by all means use the CSS form. Double check the form to make sure your school accepts ( most likely ) and be sure to go to your Guidance Office in early September to get copy or go on line to the College Board. Remember the FAFSA can not be filed before January 1 so it will to late to use it for ED. Double check with your Admission Office to se eif they require a supplemental financial aid form . Watch the deadlines for the CSS as they differ from school to school.
Jennifer L. Severini-Kresock Points0
It depends on the school to which you are applying. Not all schools require the submission of the CSS profile. The CSS profile is available beginning October 1st. There is a list of schools which require it on this link: https://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile The CSS profile is used to determine institutional aid for the more selective schools. If the school that the student is not attending just requires the FAFSA. The student and family can discuss specific needs directly with the financial aid office at the schools to which they are applying.

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