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Looking for merit aid-filed fafsa-any reason to file CSS?

VeryapparentVeryapparent Registered User Posts: 255 Junior Member
Under FAFSA we don't qualify for any need based aid which we expected. We filed so D would be able to take out student loans if necessary. We are hoping with her stats she will be eligible for some good merit at some schools. It seems incredibly difficult without actually calling individual schools to find out if CSS is required. Is there any good resource outside of making calls to schools that for some reason I can't find?

In checking each school website I am finding under financial aid info CSS is required to be considered for grants. Not sure how a school defines merit aid? Is it a grant? Very confusing.
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Replies to: Looking for merit aid-filed fafsa-any reason to file CSS?

  • Sportsman88Sportsman88 Registered User Posts: 1,578 Senior Member
    edited October 8
    1. What schools?

    2. Many people qualify for aid at schools that use profile. FASFA only schools are often only giving federal aid which is limited to lower income. Private schools that use Profile also give institutional aid which is offered to much higher income brackets. How high depends on the school.

    3. Have you run the Net Price Calculator on each school's website (not the FASFA one)?

    4. Grants are not generally merit but there is merit aid that has ties to financial need.

    5. At the end of the day, after doing #3 and carefully reading the school's website, calling the school is the best answer.
  • twogirlstwogirls Registered User Posts: 5,861 Senior Member
    If a school requires the CSS for grants, they are talking about FA grants given through the school. Have you used these schools net price calculators?
  • VeryapparentVeryapparent Registered User Posts: 255 Junior Member
    edited October 8
    Yes. I ran all of them. The FASA was only filed for access to student loans. We had no expectation for financial aid. Our challenge as a family is that our younger child will likely need lifelong care though we are not certain at this point. The best case scenario would be monitored independent living. I can't see that being the outcome now though. Hard to document a maybe even if it is a strong maybe. So for D#2 we aren't just planning for education but also everything else that spans a lifetime. Tricky and almost impossible to provide documentation for outside of a diagnosis.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 29,561 Senior Member
    You certainly can document that in the CSS -- there is a space for other info. Some colleges don't like to give need based aid later if you never applied for it before -- if a job loss or severe illness could throw you off track to be full pay in a future year, that would be a reason to file CSS.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,517 Senior Member
    You need to check with each college. Back when my kids were freshmen 2003 and 2006, both had to complete the fafsa and the Profile as incoming freshmen...or their merit aid would not have been given to them.

    Some colleges might have this requirement...and with 3000 colleges, it's hard to say whether yours does...or not. Check with the schools.
  • VeryapparentVeryapparent Registered User Posts: 255 Junior Member
    Thanks looks like I am making some calls next week.
  • BuckeyeMWDSGBuckeyeMWDSG Registered User Posts: 454 Member
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,517 Senior Member
    @BuckeyeMWDSG

    The OP is trying to find out if the CSS is required for merit aid. Your list doesn't tell that.
  • manykids2000manykids2000 Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    If your child is applying to private schools where they are eligible for merit -then fill out the CSS. Every private on my child's list requires us to fill out the CSS.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,517 Senior Member
    edited October 8
    @manykids2000

    There isn't a college in this country that REQUIRES completion of the Profile that I know Or have ever heard of.

    If a student and family plan to pay in full for college, there is NO reason to complete any financial aid application form.

    Please give the name of the colleges that require this for all students.
  • manykids2000manykids2000 Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    @thumper1 - I believe you perhaps missed the part of my statement that says "eligible for merit"? My child is eligible for merit and yes, we are required to fill out the CSS if we want him to be considered for merit at the private schools on his list. Sorry you misunderstood and seem angry. This parent said they would like their child considered for merit as well.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,517 Senior Member
    I wasn't angry. But it sounded like your schools required the Profile for all.

    Glad to hear that is not the case.

    Good luck with the merit search. Hope it all works out.
  • manykids2000manykids2000 Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    oh good, sorry - the all CAPS always makes me nervous.

    Thanks, no, not for all and I just looked at each website now and one actually "strongly recommends but doesn't require". So I wanted to note that. His little list of schools (which I feel like he's already changed since I filed the CSS) might not be the norm, sorry for any confusion.
  • VeryapparentVeryapparent Registered User Posts: 255 Junior Member
    UPDATE- Contacted each school and none require CSS for merit consideration.
  • BuckeyeMWDSGBuckeyeMWDSG Registered User Posts: 454 Member
    Would you share if that includes Case Western?
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