Common CSS Profile Questions

The CSS Profile is one of the most common forms of financial aid applications in the US. The Common CSS Profile is far more descriptive and deep as compared to the United States federal application, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Updated by Harsh Rao on 26th February 2020

The College Scholarship Service Profile, otherwise known as the CSS Profile is an online application fabricated and supported by the US-based College Board that provides college students with the opportunity to apply for non-federal financial assistance.

The primary goal of a CSS Profile is to determine the financial conditions of a student's family to pay for their child's education. This is also used to determine the eligibility of a candidate for their financial aid. The Common CSS Profile is far more descriptive and deep when compared to the United States federal application, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The CSS Profile is one of the most common forms of financial aid applications in the US. The general opening date for the CSS Profile Application is on October 1 every year. One of the core requirements for this application is applying student’s financial position and their requirement. The information is then forwarded to the member educational institutions of an applicant's choice to receive the necessary assistance.


CSS Application Fees

The fee required for the CSS Profile Application is $25 for the first institution and $16 for each additional institution applied to.


The CSS Profile requires the applicants to upload some personal details, which are as follows - 

Name of a Candidate.

Need to be supported by official and certified documents with his/her name on it.

Contact details of applicants and their household

An applicant must provide their valid contact details on the application for any further communication.

Age of a Recipient

Need to be supported by official and certified documents; the applicant must fall into the acceptable age-pool to be eligible for application.

Financial Income Statements

Not every student will be eligible to receive financial assistance. It is important that a candidates provide necessary documents proving their need. Those candidates who falls under a certain income level would have to submit this to proceed further.

Academic Background

Every document relating to a candidate's academics such as official transcripts, letters of recommendation, reports, and more must be submitted along with the application form.

Home Equity of a Student

Home equity is one of the few assets that alter your ability to meet educational expenses. It is important to provide information related to your home equity while applying for educational institutions.

Business value and Retirement Value

If the applicant is a part of a business, it is critical to disclose the important details relating to the business during the application process. The important details include the business value and the retirement value of the business. Both of the details need to be calculated and dated on the day of the application itself.

Other resources available to the applicant to pay for their college

The applicant also needs to mention other sources of finance that the applicant has applied or is receiving funds from, for the academic requirements. The other resources of funds may include - military benefits, scholarships, etc.

Extenuating circumstances applicable to the applicant

In case the applicant has one or more dependants in their household, they will be required to submit viable documents related to the dependants, like - eldercare obligations, the financial requirements of the dependant(s), etc.

Explanatory comments

This section provides you with the liberty to go deep into the information that you provided and give some extra details that may seem relevant. This section is a very important part of the application as it delivers a more descriptive context to your information which may not have been you provided earlier.