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The College Scholarship Service (CSS)/Financial Aid PROFILE is the financial aid application service of the College Board. In addition to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), many private schools (and scholarship programs) also use the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE to determine financial need and calculate the student's expected family contribution (EFC). The PROFILE is used to help award nonfederal student aid funds.

The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE is only available online. If you are applying for aid for the first time, you must register with the College Board prior to completing the PROFILE online. You should register at least two weeks before the filing deadlines of your participating schools or scholarship programs.

To complete the PROFILE, you must pay a $5 nonrefundable registration fee and $18 for each college or scholarship program to which you want information sent. These charges may vary from year to year. You can pay by debit card, credit card, or check. A limited number of fee waivers are granted to first-time applicants based on the financial information provided on the PROFILE.

Completing the PROFILE
After you register online, you can choose to complete the PROFILE application immediately or return to it at a later time. You will have the option to print a pre-application worksheet, which allows you to review the application questions in advance of filling out the online form. Be sure to have tax returns (if available) and financial documents on hand when filling out the application.

Information Collected
The PROFILE asks for more detailed information than the FAFSA. Information collected by the PROFILE may include:

Value of parents' home
Medical and dental expenses not covered by insurance
Trust funds for siblings
Cost of primary and/or secondary education tuition
Businesses or farms owned by you or your parents
The College Board also allows colleges to add their own questions to the PROFILE questionnaire.

After Submitting the PROFILE
After you submit your application, you will receive an online PROFILE acknowledgment. This acknowledgment provides a record of the information you entered on your application and gives you information about the next steps required to complete the financial aid process.

FROM Edadvisor College Planning Newsletter-October