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CSS Profile

The CSS Profile is an online application used by colleges and scholarship programs to award Institutional (their own) aid.

CSS Profile

List of colleges requiring CSS Profile

Getting Started with CSS Profile

FAFSA and CSS Profile

FAFSA

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a free, online application for financial aid for college. FAFSA opens each year on October 1 and requires the previous year's taxes; for example, a student entering college in Fall of 2022 would start the FAFSA Oct. 1, 2021 using their parent(s)/guardian(s)' 2020 taxes (this is not a typo; the FAFSA requires "prior prior year" taxes).

To start the FAFSA application: apply for an FSA ID here (one for student and separate one for parent/guardian); keep track of this ID & password for future years!

Colleges often have priority deadlines for FAFSA submission. Check with the college of your choice!

Students & parents need to submit the FAFSA every year that the student is in college.

Colleges typically set Priority Deadlines for students to complete the FAFSA. These are NOT drop-dead deadlines after which the college will not accept your FAFSA; rather, they are dates by which the college would prefer to have your FAFSA on file, so that they can allocate their limited financial aid award money in a timely manner. You have the best chance of receiving college financial aid if you submit the FAFSA by their Priority Deadline, and the best chance of receiving Grant $ from the federal government if you complete your FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1 each year.