So do I have to fill out the CSS Profile or not?

<p>I've applied to 10 schools, 8 of which "require" the CSS profile. Because of outside scholarships, I was instructed to fill out the FAFSA, although my EFC is too high to receive any need aid. (FAFSA gave me 99,999 EFC, which is the max amount if I'm not mistaken).</p>

<p>I'm pretty sure that none of the 8 schools that "require" it will actually need it to assess me for possible need aid. Merit Scholarships from Michigan, Wake Forest, UNC-CH, Duke, UVA, and Rice are within reach with my stats. Stanford and Penn are roughly need-aid-only schools, so I won't submit the CSS Profile to them. My schools have all just sent out mass emails telling applicants/accepted students to apply for financial aid. However, I am not looking for financial aid, just merit scholarships. </p>

<p>Some of these schools, like UVA, say things like "Please note that in order to be considered for certain types of aid (including institutional grants, Perkins loan funds, and Federal Work Study) all required application materials must be received by our office by March 1, 2013 . Students who do not supply all these documents by March 1, 2013, will not receive any state or institutional aid as part of their official financial aid award." At the same time, they warn that if they do not specifically ask me to send materials, I shouldn't send them. So, do I wait for them to ask for it and possibly risk not receiving a merit scholarship or send it in regardless?</p>

<p>They use the terms institutional aid and institutional grants. I thought grants were need-based, and therefore I'm not eligible for them. Institutional aid is more vague- does this include institutional merit aid? If so, I have to fill it out. Also, many of the financial aid website pages of the colleges state that I will not receive a financial aid offer until the CSS Profile is submitted, so my question is whether merit scholarships fall under financial aid offers. Some websites define financial aid as being need-based aid but in this context, does merit fall under it? </p>

<p>I'm very confused about this process. Sorry for the long post. Any help would be appreciated.</p>

<p>It varies by college. You have to review each college website, and email their financial aid office to ask whether you need to supply the CSS and/or FAFSA to be considered for merit scholarships if you are not sure.</p>

<p>Some colleges do require this. My D2 applied to 8 colleges, and only one (Macalester College) requires that a student apply for need-based aid to be considered for most of their merit awards. You just need to study the web sites, and contact the colleges to confirm if it is not completely clear.</p>

<p>I highly doubt that any college REQUIRES a student’s family to submit FAFSA or CSS in order to accepted or to enroll. If the student doesn’t want aid, they don’t have to submit. </p>

<p>think about it…do you think the ultra rich submit their financial info to colleges? uh, no. Can’t see Bill Gates filling out FAFSA or CSS.</p>

<p>If you’re not asking for need-based aid, nor loans, then you don’t have to submit. However, find out what the school’s policy is for requesting aid later if your family’s situation changes. </p>

<p>And, if a college requires submittal for merit consideration and you want that consideration, then you have to submit.</p>

<p>Although my questions weren’t answered, I guess it doesn’t really matter. After a few more hours of searching, I figured out why UVA, among others, used terms interchangeably. I had forgotten that the merit scholarships were not very numerous, so financial aid package offers for 99% of the accepted students consisted of need-based aid numbers. My mistake. Btw, I wasn’t asking if financial aid applications were required to be admitted. I wanted to know whether it was needed to receive non-need-based merit aid, which it was not.</p>

<p>I think I’ve cleared myself up about this mess, but I’ll see if I get any emails or calls from financial aid offices because I submitted just the FAFSA and not the CSS Profile. Thanks for attempting to elucidate this mess of institutional aid.</p>

<p>Some colleges DO require you to file FAFSA and Profile to qualify for merit aid. It was required for my DD1’s NMF scholarship for her freshman year. I didn’t have to file after that.</p>