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Paying For College - Head Matters


6. Aid Applications

b. The CSS Profile

In addition to the FAFSA, many private colleges and universities as well as scholarship institutions require the CSS Profile.  The CSS Profile was created by The College Board in an effort to gather more financial information from the student and his or her family to get a clearer picture of the financial situation.  Several hundred private colleges and universities as well as scholarship organizations require the Profile nationwide.  The Profile has a small application fee and an additional fee for each school the student lists.  These fees may be waived for low income families.  If your school does not require the Profile, you should not complete this application.  The CSS Profile gives you an alternate EFC that’s used to award institutional funds.  Institutional funds come from the school’s money and they can be given to you usually in the form of a grant or scholarship.

To learn more about the Profile and find out if your school requires it, or to file an application, visit 

Keep in mind that the CSS Profile does NOT change your FAFSA EFC. Regardless of the results from the CSS Profile, you’ll be eligible for the same amount of Federal and State scholarships, grants, loans and work study. 


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