Who fills out the CSS profile, parent or student?

I am a parent of a senior, and need to fill out the CSS Profile. It looks like I do this within my son’s College Board account? So, will my son have access to all of our financial information? We haven’t shared details about our finances with him, but if we fill it out in his account, seems like he will be notified of all the details. How do other parents manage this? Is there a way to fill out CSS Profile separately?
Thank you!

Well…I’ll be honest. I’m sure there are parents who complete the FAFSA and Profile…setting up all the user names and passwords so their kids won’t have access.

But really…your kid (for the FAFSA at least) will need the same user ID and password info if he or she takes out a federally funded loan…so they are going to have access to the FAFSA. The good news is on the FAFSA is that is you use the IRS data retrieval tool, the numbers from your tax return are encrypted, and even you can’t see the actual numbers.

If your student has the user name and password info for their college board account, they can access this info. My kids wouldn’t have bothered!


Yeah, for FAFSA, I (parent) set up a UserID and filled in info, pulled from IRS. He had to log in himself to submit, but didn’t see all the parent inputs. I guess with CSS it’s different. He’s a curious kid and unfortunately seems eager to see all the details.

Note that if the parents are divorced, some colleges that require the CSS Profile also require the non-custodial parent to do the CSS Noncustodial Profile.

I can understand not wanting to share that info with your student. Honestly, though, at some point you have to have some sort of discussion about what your budget is so he has some idea what to expect when decisions come rolling in.

I always filled out the forms on behalf of D20 but this year was the first year she sat down and went through everything with me. All through the application process we were up front about what we could afford to pay so she knew how finances played into the big picture, even though she didn’t know specifics until this year.


We’ve given him a sense of what we can afford, so he’s aware of that and has some general knowledge. Just don’t know him knowing exactly how much mom makes vs. dad, and all of the details.