Everything You Need to Know about the CSS Profile

What is the CSS Profile?

The College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile is an online application that colleges and scholarship programs use to give out non-federal aid.

Hundreds of colleges require you to fill out the CSS Profile and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). College Board provides this service as well as the AP exams, PSAT, and SAT. Once you decide which colleges you’re applying to, check to see if they require the CSS Profile for need-based financial aid. 

When do I fill out the CSS Profile? 

The CSS Profile typically opens on October 1 for the upcoming school year. You should submit your CSS Profile no later than two weeks before the earliest college or scholarship application deadline. 

What do I need to fill out the CSS Profile? 

The CSS Profile and FAFSA application ask for many of the same documents. Here’s what you need:

  • College Board login – You already have a login if you took the SAT, PSAT, or AP exams. 
  • Federal tax returns for your parents/guardians and yourself, if you file taxes 
  • Social Security Number for you and your parents/guardians (if applicable) 
  • Record of any untaxed income 
  • Bank statements 
  • Mortgage information 
  • Investment records 
  • Your debit or credit card

How much does the application cost?

The initial cost of the application is $25. Extra reports cost $16. Your application fee is waived if you qualify for a free SAT waiver. You can send your CSS Profile to up to eight schools for free.  

College Board offers email, live chat, and phone support if you have questions.