Which is better: FAFSA or CSS Profile?

<p>I plan on filling out FAFSA on January 1. However, should I also fill out CSS Profile?
For those who have filled out both, is one application better than the other?</p>

<p>Thanks!</p>

<p>MW college..YOU do not get the choice about which form(s) to fill out. You MUST complete whatever the college requires. You will need to complete the FAFSA for almost all schools (there are a few that do not require it...but not very many). Some schools REQUIRE the PROFILE in addition to the FAFSA. If the school requires them...you gotta do them to be considered for need based aid.</p>

<p>So...YOU (today, right now) need to go to the financial aid websites of EACH college to which you have applied...write down what each school requires for their financial aid consideration AND the deadlines for receipt of this info.</p>

<p>To add to thumper's excellent advice - it's not just FAFSA and/or CSS Profile either. Some schools have their own institutional form you need to complete and submit. Some schools want you to mail 2011 tax returns to them directly. Other schools - those that require the CSS Profile - want you to send your tax returns to a service called IDOC. </p>

<p>As thumper said - go to each college's financial aid website and write down all of their requirements and deadlines. Following instructions and hitting deadlines is a big part of the FA process.</p>

<p>I have 2 CSS Profiles, 2 FAFSAs, 1 school-specific form and 1 IDOC on my to-do list for the next few weeks - it does take time and organizational skills. And dark chocolate.</p>