Archive for October, 2013

OCTOBER IS THE BEGINNING OF THE FINANCIAL AID PAPERWORK SEASON! DO YOU NEED TO COMPLETE THE CSS PROFILE?

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

On October 1st the CSS Profile was available for college bound students to complete. There are over 400 schools that require the CSS Profile (College Scholarship Service Profile) to access their institutional monies for financial aid. You can access the list of schools that requires this for at the following link:

http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/PROFILE_Student_Guide.pdf

To prepare for the form completion you will need a copy of your 2012 federal tax return and an estimate for your 2013 taxes. You will need your housing information rent/own, mortgage information if applicable, business or farm income and income from any temporary assistance or social security.

The CSS profile is administered by the College Board and once you complete the form there is a $25.00 charge payable by credit card online to send it to the requesting schools. To register for the CSS Profile go to this link:

http://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile

Once registered you will be able to complete the form. Remember to check your numbers before sending and note that these estimates will need to match the numbers that you use to complete the FAFSA after January 1, 2014. These schools need both forms completed to access all financial aid available.

Having completed both the FAFSA and CSS Profiles over the last 7 years my opinion is that the CSS Profile is the harder of the two to understand. It goes into more depth because it looks at equity in you personal residence and requires two years of taxes to complete. The other difference is the inclusion of smaller businesses that the FAFSA does not. But do not get discouraged, the schools that require the CSS Profile are offering their endowment money to your student to offset the sticker price of their schools. Look at each schools website to make sure you do not miss their application cut off date to send in the form.

There are many books out there that address the completion of the CSS Profile and FAFSA. You will need to look at them to see which one best addresses your financial situation. As always if you feel you need more help call a professional.

Looking for help? Go to CPS-Illinois.com