When Does the CSS Profile Open?

 In CSS Profile, Financial Aid Forms

When it comes to financial aid, there are two applications that most families need to submit to prospective schools, the FAFSA and the CSS Profile. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the CSS Profile, the financial aid form maintained by the College Board, and when it opens.

Learn more about the CSS Profile >>

What is the CSS Profile?

First, let’s talk about the CSS Profile itself. The CSS Profile, or the College Scholarships Service Profile if you want to get official, is a form that’s used by schools that offer institutional aid beyond the aid made available through the government. The schools that use the CSS Profile want to dig deeper into a family’s financial picture. As a result, the CSS Profile is much more extension in the questions it asks families compared to the other most popular financial aid form, the FAFSA.

Which schools require the CSS Profile?

While most schools require the FAFSA, not all schools require the CSS Profile. You can either follow this link or simply complete a Google search for ‘CSS Profile School List.’ Either way, you will be brought to a page that lists all of the current schools requiring the CSS Profile in order to be considered for financial aid.

When does the CSS Profile open?

The CSS Profile is made available to families starting October 1. The form is to be completed for the upcoming school year. For example, families were able to begin completing the CSS Profile for the 2020-21 school year October 1, 2019.

When is the CSS Profile due?

Incoming Freshmen
In general, incoming freshmen are required to submit their CSS Profile earlier than returning students. Beyond that, incoming freshmen that are applying early — Early Decision or Early Action — are required to submit their CSS Profile before those that are applying for General Admission.

Freshmen applying for Early Action or Early Decision could be required to have their CSS Profile submitted as early as November 1.

Deadlines vary and can even carry into the new year, landing closer to February or March for General Admission applicants.

Returning Students
When it comes to returning students, deadlines are not nearly as early, in general. Returning students could see deadlines in April or May.

Learn about another common financial aid requirement beyond the CSS Profile >>

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