CSS Profile

I was wondering about the CSS Profile. I am going to fill out the FAFSA, but what would be the reason to fill out the CSS Profile for me? I am not trying to brag at all I just simply have no idea how any of this works. My family’s income is inside of the top 1% of the nation and every tuition calculator I’ve used for colleges always results in my family getting absolutely no need based aid. But I believe that the CSS Profile is required for a decent amount of my schools. What should I do?

Do any of the colleges require CSS Profile for any reason other than need-based FA (e.g. merit scholarships that also consider need that you are applying for)?

Some colleges require FAFSA and CSS profiles to be submitted for any type of funding to be given, including merit.

If you’re not applying for financial aid, you do not have to file the CSS Profile. Why did you file FAFSA? Do any of the colleges you’re applying to require it in order to be considered for merit awards? Are you planning to take out the federal student loan?

@ucbalumnus @SJ2727 how do I find out if the colleges that require it use it for merit scholarships? I know 100% that I won’t be getting any need based aid so I’m indicating that on the common application that I’m not applying for need based aid.

Have you run numbers through each school’s NPC? Make sure that the school web site does require FAFSA and/or PROFILE for merit money. Ask Fin AId and Admissions is Required for any merit money. Check if the schools require an app for financial aid your first year to be eligible in future years. Do you have a sibling that may be going to college while you are in school? Discuss this with your parents.

We always filled out a FAFSA in case we wanted access to Direct Loan or PLUS money for cash flow purposes. It’s just easier to have that done, just in case. Any issues with the firm straightened out early.

Just call the financial aid office and ask if you need to fill out CSS in order to be considered for merit. If you know you won’t qualify, and they don’t require it for anything, don’t submit it.

It is definitely confusing. Also understand that by filing the CSS, you are indicating that you are seeking FA, even though you know you won’t qualify. Need aware schools might consider that when making their decisions. We made the mistake of filling out both FAFSA and CSS with our eldest, as we wanted her to take a small loan. We ended up withdrawing the CSS. The CSS was a waste of time and money. We were not going to qualify for any institutional financial aid. And it might have hurt our D’s chances at some of the schools she was accepted to, though we will never know.

My D was offered merit at a college that she was not expecting it from, and they required CSS for that. I am not aware of need aware colleges turning down applications simply based on the submission of CSS, I thought that was done at the point of actually calculating how much aid an applicant might need? The counselors at D’s HS told us to submit FAFSA and CSS even if no need based aid would be required precisely because many colleges want them for any kind of funding.

Admittedly we stopped applications early in the process (D19 was accepted ED so it was only that and two other early applications that went in). As in post #4 she indicated not applying for need based aid on the common app. I am also unclear as to whether or not this question is taken into account in admissions by need aware colleges as I have seen differing opinions on it.

No it won’t. Just checking the box won’t hurt chances at need-aware schools. Admissions would ask for a report from the FA office to see HOW MUCH aid you need. Lots of people apply but don’t qualify for anything, or for just a very small amount. A need-aware admissions office needs to differentiate between the applicant who qualifies for 80% of COA and the applicant who qualifies for 10% COA.

At need aware schools, the admissions office will see your level of financial need and that might factor into your admissions decision.

BUT if your financial need is $0, it should not matter. Admissions will see that the college has NO financial obligation to fund your education.

I agree…call and ask if the forms are required for merit aid consideration. Both of my kids had to file it but I believe in both cases this is no longer the case for merit awards.

You need to talk to the AO of every school to which your student is applying. It varies by school. Some years ago, a friend of mine directly asked and was told at one need aware school that just checking the box for financial aid is what puts you in the need stack, decreasing somewhat chances of admissions, even if need turns out to be zero.

Ar some schools need doesn’t come into the picture till end stages of the selection process when money gets tight and enrollment management decisions have to be made to stretch what’s left to meet full need of the the last batch of admitted students.

Thank you guys are all your responses!

2 posts were split to a new thread: CSS Profile