Tips for Filling Out FAFSA and CSS Profile


As the 2023-2024 school year continues to approach us, if you are thinking of applying for

financial aid, you should get a head start at filling out your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal

Student Aid) and CSS Profile. Both of these applications are made available on October 1 of

2022. While some may not plan on applying for financial aid as it may not be necessary for

them, it should be considered in order to obtain non-need-based aid like scholarships and merit awards.


FAFSA

FAFSA is an application used by most colleges and universities in order to determine if a

student is eligible for aid through loans, grants, or work study funds. Eligibility is determined

based on your families’ financial information, as well as their background. With the collection of this information then comes your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) – what is assumed to be affordable dues for the student. Based on your final EFC, FAFSA will then determine what

federal aid you may need to receive and how much.


CSS Profile

Focusing on the CSS Profile, it is used to determine how much institutional aid you may be

eligible to receive. Not all colleges and universities require students to have completed the CSS Profile. If you would like to double check whether or not your school carries this requirement, you may look through the following link for confirmation, although, It appears to be more of a trend for private institutions:

https://profile.collegeboard.org/profile/ppi/participatingInstitutions.aspx


Tips for filling out FAFSA


● To start applying for FAFSA, you may go to their official website and get a Federal

Student Aid (FSA) ID.


● While the FAFSA gathers monetary and individual data from both the guardians and the

student, it is critical that the student makes a profile under their name and email address.


● Students applying to universities for the 2023-2024 scholarly year will require their

family's 2021 government forms or tax returns to finish the application.


● If you need a better breakdown of the process, the Federal Student Aid site gives

detailed guidelines, as well as a list of documents that are necessary for the application

process.


● For families who have finished up the FAFSA previously, this year there are a few

changes. One key arrangement is that the quantity of questions on the FAFSA were

diminished from 108 to a limit of 36.


Tips for filling out the CSS Profile


● Create an account through College Board’s CSS Profile section for the 2023-2024

scholastic year and sign in to your CSS Profile.


● Once you have completed the previous step, the next step will require your federal tax

returns and other monetary data. Access to set up your account and application will start

on October 1st.


When to Apply

After the applications for the 2022-23 school year are opened on October first, families applying for aid should finish the applications as quickly as time permits to guarantee they comply with all deadlines. The cutoff time to present the FAFSA as well as CSS Profile differs from one school to another, yet they are most frequently due around a similar time as the admissions application. A school’s deadline date can be found on their personal financial aid website.


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