You must submit the FAFSA every year you're in college if you want to receive aid. Colleges can include additional questions of their own. The FAFSA is free to apply, but not all the aid you receive is free. One of the most significant differences between the two forms is cost. Here is a list of our partners. Only students who meet basic eligibility criteria can submit the FAFSA. The CSS Profile is administered by College Board, which is the same organization that handles the SAT and AP exams. For students whose parents are divorced, the Profile requires both parents to complete it. Here's how the CSS Profile differs from the FAFSA. The CSS also considers additional factors that will affect your ability to pay for college … However, if you have not yet done so, you should fill it out as soon as possible. File the FAFSA as close to the start date as possible to improve your likelihood of getting the most grant, scholarship and work-study aid. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. You could also complete a PDF online, then print and send by mail. $16 for each additional report. (The FAFSA only requires the custodial parent to complete it.). There are important distinctions to be aware of between the FAFSA and the CSS Profile. The application is also often required by states and schools for their own scholarship and grant programs. 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. The FAFSA is required each year of all first-year, transfer, and returning students to apply for federal and state financial aid. The FAFSA is completely free, and the CSS PROFILE is not. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the key to federal, state and institutional financial aid. But you should submit the application no later than two weeks before the earliest deadline. This is somewhat misleading insofar as institutions have a great deal of latitude in interpreting the data. A punctual submission can help in a long way and is highly prescribed. While all schools use the FAFSA to allocate federal funds such as Direct Student Loans, a subset of schools– primarily private schools– use the CSS Profile in their financial aid calculations. And remember, although the Profile is commonly considered the FAFSA for private colleges, it’s actually only for a subset of about 200 private colleges. 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. Her work has appeared in The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today. The CSS Profile is only used by certain schools. And while our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward — and free. The FAFSA is a government form. The FAFSA excludes certain assets that the CSS Profile includes: 1. Others factor in regional differences in cost of living. 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. For example, for the 2021-22 school year, the deadline is June 30, 2022. Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. The major difference is that the FAFSA® provides federal grants, loans, and other types of government assistance, and the CSS Profile is an application that universities use to gauge how much non-federal financial aid you need. All schools accept the FAFSA for federal aid, but only some accept the CSS Profile for state and institutional aid. Unlike the FAFSA, which has a deadline of June 30, 2022, for the 2021-22 school year, the CSS Profile deadline varies. You can submit the CSS Profile only online. Since most colleges award their financial aid on a first-come, first-served basis, it's best to fill out the FAFSA and CSS Profile as close as possible to October 1 each year. You could also complete a PDF online, then print and send by mail. , an additional application that determines state and institutional financial aid. Any student who is a U.S. citizen or. NerdWallet’s 2021-22 FAFSA Guide: How to Get Free Money for College. I’m also a mom to college-aged twins, so I’m right there with you. can submit the FAFSA. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. It's important to know that it's NOT a matter of the CSS Profile vs. FAFSA, and figuring out which one to complete. I understand it is not reported as “untaxed income” in the FAFSA. This being said, the CSS PROFILE focuses on your personal assets a great deal, while the FAFSA sticks more to annual income. Apply for the FAFSA on the Federal Student Aid website or by using the myStudentAid mobile app. We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. » MORE: When is the 2021-22 CSS Profile deadline? When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. A small number of institutions require that an applicant wishing to be considered for merit (non-need) aid submit the FAFSA, the Profile, or both. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for federal aid like the Pell Grant, work-study and. The CSS Profile is administered by the College Board, a nonprofit organization in charge of the SAT, PSAT, AP studies, and College Planning. Apply for student grants and college financial aid using one application form. Updated for 2017, this guide provides straight-forward explanations of expected family contribution (EFC), need-based financial aid, merit aid and the two aid forms, the FAFSA and CSS Profile… Getting Your Kid Through College Without Wrecking Your Retirement. , as part of their financial aid process for aid like grants and scholarships. Is pension income that is reported in Box 14 of the W-2 included in any section of the CSS Profile? 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 one, the FAFSA is free, while the CSS Profile costs $25 for the application and first college or scholarship program selected, plus another $16 for each additional one. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. Both the FAFSA and the CSS Profile application open Oct. 1 the year before you need financial aid. I’m a fee-only, fiduciary financial advisor. The FAFSA deadline is June 30 after the school year in which you want aid. FAFSA (“Federal”) and CSS PROFILE (“Institutional”) There are certain adjustments in the EFC calculation process that are treated differently between the two financial aid methodologies.. Below you’ll find a summary of many of the differences within the computation elements of the FAFSA and the CSS PROFILE,. This may influence which products we review and write about (and where those products appear on the site), but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Federal, and sometimes state and institutional. Unlike the FAFSA, information about your small business is evaluated as part of the CSS Profile. The CSS PROFILE costs $25 to file with one school But your school may also want you to submit the CSS Profile, an additional application that determines state and institutional financial aid. The primary requirement is that the institution’s methodology is applied consistently across all students. However, given the differences in questions and calculations from school to school, you are better off using individual schools’ net price calculators to get more accurate estimates of your costs. Profile starts with a different letter; you will pay $25 for the first Profile submitted and $16 for each additional school. Also — unlike the FAFSA — if your parents are divorced you’ll need information from both of them, so they’ll each need to complete the CSS profile separately. They have different applications and to be eligible for the most aid, college applicants should complete both for schools that require the CSS Profile… Here some key differences to consider. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! This means that submitting the CSS Profile does not impact your federal financial aid, including the expected family contribution (the estimated amount your family can afford to contribute toward education costs). FAFSA vs. CSS Profile – What’s the difference? (the estimated amount your family can afford to contribute toward education costs). Consequently, Suzie’s Expected Family Contribution rises even higher than the annual inflation at colleges. When is the 2021-22 CSS Profile deadline? CSS Profile collects information used for financial aid decisions. For example, for the 2021-22 school year, the deadline is June 30, 2022. - [Voiceover] And I'm going to fill out the FAFSA, and I'm also going to fill out the CSS Profile, and that's going specifically to private schools, or more often used by them. Like the FAFSA, it will calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), or what your family should expect to pay towards your college costs. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. So before putting too much energy into figuring out the Profile, you should start by figuring out if you even need to file it. NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. You must submit the FAFSA each year you plan to receive financial aid. The CSS Profile vs. the FAFSA The CSS Profile is different from the FAFSA, the free U.S. Department of Education form that determines a student's eligibility for federal financial aid. Cost. Our opinions are our own. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. The applications are entirely separate. The FAFSA ignores the net home equity of the family’s principal place of residence. Hi, I’m Ann Garcia, CFP®, the College Financial Lady. (The FAFSA still counts the net worth of investment real estate, second homes and vacation homes, just not the family home.) Grants, scholarships and work-study do not need to be repaid, but federal student loans do. The CSS Profile usually wants more information about your family’s finances than the FAFSA. 1. The Profile assesses income and assets slightly differently from the FAFSA. The main difference between the CSS Profile and the FAFSA is that the FAFSA covers federal aid and the CSS Profile only covers private aid. The CSS Profile. 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. If, for example, the financial debt from a hospital stay is already paid, it will influence how … The FAFSA does not take minimum student contribution into account, while the CSS PROFILE does. Other Profile assets include cash value insurance policies and small businesses. There are a few key differences between the two forms: The Profile considers a broader range of assets than does the FAFSA. The application is also often required by states and schools for their own scholarship and grant programs. You can find the list of schools that require it here. For the 2021-22 school year, both applications open Oct. 1, 2020. For example, the CSS Profile will collect information on your family’s annual income as well as medical expenses and anything else that could affect your ability to pay. About a fifth of colleges that use the CSS Profile do not consider net home equity, a fifth count the full amount of net hom… the FAFSA in three ways. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. It is administered by the College Board, the organization behind the SAT, PSAT, and other standardized tests.  Key Takeaways The CSS Profile is a financial aid application required by some colleges, universities, and scholarship programs. I write a lot about the FAFSA, but there’s a second financial aid form that’s also important: the CSS Profile. Like the FAFSA, the Profile has an EFC estimator. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Some also require that a CSS Profile is also filed. The CSS Profile deadline is different for each school. Returning students who have not received BU need-based scholarship aid in the past are also required to file the CSS Profile™ to apply for BU scholarship aid. . How to Pay for College: 8 Expert-Approved Tips. $25 for the application and one report to a school. The CSS Profile does not. The Profile includes a mandatory student contribution from income, essentially assuming the student has a part-time or summer job. Key features of CM are that home equity is capped at 1.2x parent income and student assets are assessed the same as parent assets. Really get to know your money and find cash you can put aside and grow. CSS Profile. Home Equity. Most schools’ deadlines are between Jan. 1 and March 31. The CSS Profile asks for much of the same information as the FAFSA, including tax returns, W-2s, bank statements, and other records of income. FAFSA . You must also submit the CSS Profile each year, if the application is accepted by the school you attend. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. The CSS Profile costs $25 to submit for one school. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. Do You Have to Fill Out the FAFSA Every Year? However, the CSS Profile typically asks for more information regarding finances. Who’s in charge? To get financial aid for college, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Both the FAFSA and CSS Profile are submitted online. You may also read about - CSS profile vs FAFSA . These might include questions about the family’s cars, how students got summer jobs, whether parents receive any financial gifts, and more. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. The applications are entirely separate. You’ll need a lot of the same documents you needed for the FAFSA to fill out the CSS Profile, including tax returns, W-2s, and and other records of income. if you attend most colleges that participate in the Title IV federal financial aid program. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for federal aid like the Pell Grant, work-study and federal student loans if you attend most colleges that participate in the Title IV federal financial aid program. is June 30 after the school year in which you want aid. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly. Parents are given a wider range of allowances against assets, such as for emergency savings and private school tuition, and assets are assessed slightly lower– 5% vs 5.64%. The CSS Profile’s calculation is referred to as Institutional Methodology. CSS Profile is an online application form which helps the students in applying for financial aid through the college boards, on the other hand, FAFSA is also an online application form very similar to the CSS Profile, but FAFSA provides financial aids via the federal government. The CSS Profile is only used by certain schools, listed on the CSS Profile site, as part of their financial aid process for aid like grants and scholarships. This video discusses the differences between the CSS Financial Aid PROFILE and the FAFSA. Home equity is based on the. A small group of schools uses the Profile and FAFSA in what’s called Consensus Methodology. This typically ranges from $3,000-$6,000. EFC Formula Guide for the 2021-2022 FAFSA, The Profile considers a broader range of assets than does the FAFSA. - [Sean] In addition, and there's another form out there that's used by a lot of schools called the CSS Profile, and that can be found on the College Board website. This means that submitting the CSS Profile does not impact your federal financial aid, including the. Thanks! For example, some cap home equity at a multiple of parent income. The CSS Profile is a financial aid application used by more than 200 colleges, universities, and scholarship programs. FAFSA. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. The most significant difference between the FAFSA and CSS profile is that the CSS profile asks for more information about you and your family’s financial situation, which can be both good and bad. The federal government awards federal financial aid based on your FAFSA application. Accept grants, scholarships and work-study before student loans. The FAFSA asks you to include information on your family’s assets and income to calculate an expected family contribution, which is the amount your family will contribute toward paying for school. For example, the … Our partners compensate us. The. It is recommended to scrutinize the information related to the CSS Profile before taking it under consideration. These schools wanted to standardize financial aid calculations between themselves. will qualify for some federal student aid, even if that only means federal loans. While all schools use the FAFSA to allocate federal funds such as Direct Student Loans, a subset of schools– primarily private schools– use the CSS Profile in their financial aid calculations. You’ll pay an additional $16 per school if you’re applying for aid elsewhere. In some cases, your school or private organizations might ask you to fill out the FAFSA or both to be considered for private aid, while others ask for only the CSS Profile. The CSS Profile is available to citizens as well as international student applicants. Unlike the FAFSA, the CSS Profile has an application fee of $25 — and a fee of $16 for each additional report if you want to submit your profile to more than one school. First-year and transfer are also required to file the CSS Profile™ to apply for BU scholarship aid. To pay for college, always submit the FAFSA first. The CSS Profile is available to citizens as well as. The CSS Profile vs. the FAFSA. » MORE: 2021-22 FAFSA checklist The CSS Profile usually wants more information about your family’s finances than the FAFSA. CSS Profile: An Overview . But your school may also want you to submit the. So how do we make money? Anna Helhoski is a writer and NerdWallet's authority on student loans. Some information that is not considered on the FAFSA, such as the value of your family’s small business, is considered an asset on the CSS profile. Legitimate information/documents should be submitted to avoid any undesirable circumstances. 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. The Profile generally uses tax info plus the additional items requested by the FAFSA and then schools may choose to include additional questions. FAFSA & CSS Profile Deadlines. You can begin the CSS Profile here. File the FAFSA as close to the start date as possible to improve your likelihood of getting the most grant, scholarship and work-study aid. Property and Casualty insurance services offered through NerdWallet Insurance Services, Inc.: Licenses, NerdWallet Compare, Inc. NMLS ID# 1617539, NMLS Consumer AccessLicenses and Disclosures, California: California Finance Lender loans arranged pursuant to Department of Financial Protection and Innovation Finance Lenders License #60DBO-74812, Prevent identity theft, protect your credit, The difference between term and whole life insurance, How medical conditions affect your life insurance rate, To get financial aid for college, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or, . Conclusion. I help families plan and finance affordable college education. Receive notifications of New posts by email but federal student loans is available citizens. A different letter ; you will pay $ 25 for the 2021-2022 FAFSA, the CSS Profile also. 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