About CSS/Financial Aid Profile®

CSS/Financial Aid Profile® is a financial aid application service of the College Board -- a national nonprofit association of schools and school systems, colleges and universities, and educational organizations. Many colleges, universities, graduate and professional schools, and scholarship programs use the CSS Profile to help them award nonfederal student aid funds.


  • $25 for the first college or program selected
  • $16 for each additional college or program selected
  • American Express, Discover, Master Card, and Visa are accepted forms of payment
  • Fee waivers are provided automatically to first year, first-time domestic students from low income backgrounds. Students who used an SAT fee waiver may also qualify for fee waivers

Important Tips and Information about your Application

  • Number format
    • Enter numbers only (no symbols)
    • Round to the nearest dollar or whole number
  • Instructions/Help – Click on the answer box to display help text to the right
  • Pre-filled information - If you submitted a CSS Profile application last year, some information may be pre-filled in this year’s application. Please review your information carefully.
  • Pop-up blockers – We suggest that you turn off pop-up blockers while completing the application as helpful information and edits will often be blocked if you have a pop-up blocker on.
  • Updating Colleges/Programs and other data - You can add and/or remove colleges and programs at any time before you submit your application. Additionally, you can change data until you submit your application. As soon as payment is received, we will begin processing your information and reporting it directly to the colleges and programs that you requested, so we cannot remove college/programs as recipients or update data.
  • Save and Return - You do not need to complete the entire application at one time.
  • On-time – To make sure your application will be considered on time, submit your CSS Profile by midnight Eastern Time of your earliest priority filing date.
  • User name – Keep your user name and password secure and accessible. You will need it to return to your CSS Profile application this year, and using the same user name and password next year will pre-fill some of your information. You cannot use the same user name and password for other family members, even in a different processing year.

Independent Students

Some colleges and programs require independent students to provide their parents' information. If you are asked to provide parental information, at least one of the colleges or programs you've selected requires this data. Questions regarding a college's application policies should be directed to that college's financial aid office.

International Applicants

If your country's tax year follows the calendar year (January 1 - December 31), follow the instructions as given throughout the application to answer questions about the base financial aid year (2016). If your country's tax year does not follow the calendar year, determine the appropriate base tax year by identifying the last tax year that ended or will end before April 1, 2017. This will be the tax year that you will use for all questions on the application that reference "2016." You'll then use the subsequent two years for questions about 2017 and 2018.

You will be asked questions about your household expenses. You should gather those records as well.

You must complete the application in English using standard American keyboard characters: letters (A-Z), numbers (0-9) and punctuation (.,:;-??!$@%#=). Umlauts, tildes, or similar characters not found on a standard American keyboard may cause processing problems.

Federal Aid

The CSS Profile cannot be used to apply for federal student aid. To apply for federal student aid, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.