Which Schools Require the CSS Profile?

 In CSS Profile, Financial Aid Forms

When it comes to financial aid forms, there tends to be much more confusion surrounding the CSS Profile than the FAFSA. First of all, the CSS Profile is longer. But not only that, not all schools require the CSS Profile.

Once families learn of the existence of the CSS Profile, a natural next question is which schools require the CSS Profile? Luckily for us, College Board, who maintains the CSS Profile, has put together an easy-to-use list of schools that require the CSS Profile.

CSS Profile Participating Institutions and Programs

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.

While this form has been available for a while, College Board recently updated the website to make it even more user-friendly. You can now easily search the schools requiring the CSS Profile by state and other topics.

Here are a few things to keep in mind about this list:

Not all of the schools on the list will require you to complete the CSS Profile.

What? I thought this was a list of schools requiring the CSS Profile. Yes, in general, it is. However, some schools on this list ONLY require the CSS Profile from international students. Be sure that your school requires the CSS Profile from ‘Domestic Students’ and not just ‘International Students.’ If you are a student that lives in the United States and are targeting a school that only requires the CSS Profile from international students, you DO NOT have to submit the CSS Profile to this school.

Some schools require the CSS Profile from both parents in situations of divorce or separation.

One of the columns that you will see on the form is related to non-custodial parents. Some schools not only require the CSS Profile from the custodial parent, but they also require the CSS Profile from the non-custodial parent. Like the student, the non-custodial parent will need to create a username and password in order to submit the CSS Profile.

Be aware of IDOC.

IDOC is officially known as the Institutional Documentation Service of College Board. Essentially, it is one of the more common services schools use to collect documents they require from families. This most commonly includes tax forms (returns, W-2s, 1099s) for the student and parents. Upon submitting the CSS Profile, the family will be notified of the IDOC requirement via an email that includes instructions on how to log in and submit the documents.

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