CSS Profile Guide 2023-24 / Study in USA

Get your application ready for financial aid in the USA with CSS Profile

CSS Profile is the ultimate application platform for combining your financial status and presenting it for financial aid at different colleges in the USA.  

Getting fully funded scholarships in the USA is not easy at all. But you can get fee waivers and financial support from private colleges and Universities by providing your CSS application to the college. 


The College Service Scholarship Profile has different criteria and sections to be filled. It requires particular information regarding your parents and their financial ownership 

This guide will give you all the information about CSS application. 

It contains step by step process to fill in the College Board application.  


So, let’s jump into the guide! 


Complete Guide to CSS Profile 

1. What is a CSS Profile?  

2. Why CSS profile is important?

3. How is the College Board CSS Profile different from FASFA?

4. What type of financial support is given through CSS Profile?

5. How to complete the CSS Profile application?

6. FAQs about CSS Profile 

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1. What is CSS Profile?

CSS Profile is an application for International Students to compile all their record of finances. It is required by the colleges and Universities in the US.  

It is regulated by the College Board which is a big stakeholder in College admission entries because it is also leading the SAT around the globe.  

The College Service Scholarship profile helps students to get financial aid in the USA.  

More than 200 colleges use the College Board application to grant institutional aid and Scholarships. 

There are multiple private scholarship programs and colleges that grant non-federal aid to students. These institutions collaborate with College Service Scholarship profile to get financial information of students. 

You can check the list of participating colleges which require CSS profile for additional aid here. 



2. Why CSS profile is important? 

The College Service Scholarship profile is an important linkage between students and colleges to get financial aid and grants. It is used by most of the private colleges and well-reputed schools in the USA like Stanford, Harvard, Northwestern etc.  

The application has a greater rate of acceptance if you are from a low-income family. College Service Scholarship application is an essential part of your college application if you are seeking additional funds, non-federal aid, or institutional grants in a private University or College. 

Most colleges ask for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) but it may ask for college board CSS application too. You need to have your College Service Scholarship Profile ready earlier.  


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3. How is the College Board CSS Profile different from FAFSA?

FAFSA is an abbreviation for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is an application for federal aid and Government institutional grants. It is used by state universities and other private colleges too. However, CSS profile is an application for need-based and private scholarship programs.  

It is helpful for non-federal aid and institutional scholarships and grants. 

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College Board profile charges some amount to get your application active. FAFSA is a free application service for students. However, College Service Scholarship Profile can lead to a bigger amount of scholarship or financial coverage than FAFSA. 


Note: FAFSA is only open for students who are US citizens because it is a federal aid that is provided by the US federal government to its citizens. However, CSS Profile is for US citizens as well as International Students. 




4. What type of Financial Support is given through the CSS profile? 

It is an application that reports to the respective college. You need to apply an application for each college by paying the amount for the application. 

The amount of grant or financial aid is based on your CSS application, your family income, expenditure and the College’s financial aid policy. Many colleges that are need-blind provide 100% scholarships to international students based on their financial conditions.

You can calculate an estimated amount of financial aid that could be given to you on the basis of your CSS profile here.


5. How to Complete CSS Profile Application? 

To complete the College Service Scholarship profile Application you need to have all the documents related to your finances, expenses, family income, parent’s salary, tax return, households and ownerships etc. 

The application process includes the following steps: 

Create College Board Account > Prepare Documents > Start Application > Add Personal Information > Academic Expenses > Tax-related information > Parent’s income > Household expenses > Select College > Pay Application Charges > Submit 

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5.1. Create an Account at College Board 

You must have an account at College Board if you’ve taken the SAT. Otherwise, you can create an account at College Board here.  

The account will require your basic information to sign up for the College Board.

See the screenshots for details





5.2. Prepare Important Documents  

Before applying for CSS application you should complete all the financial details of you and your family. It includes return tax, bank statements, payslips, expense proof, utility bills, academic vouchers, records of other income, business details, savings, funding and salary of parents etc. 

It asks for each and every detail related to the finances of the student. 



5.3. Start CSS Profile Application  

Firstly start an Application for CSS Profile, it will require your personal details, mailing address, family and parent information and other important things related to the student. 


5.4. Add Personal Information to CSS profile   

Secondly, you need to add your high school information (where you acquired 12th Grade),

Your academic expense. It includes all the details of your monthly tuition fee, accommodation, food, stationary etc. 

Note: The monetary information of the student is only required when He/she goes to a private school.


 5.5. Parent’s Income and Tax-related Information 

You need to acquire your parent’s tax return document for each year. The college board CSS profile asks for the tax return of the previous two years e.g. If you are applying for the year 2024 the tax return will be for 2022 and 2023.  

Parent’s income includes the overall annual income of working parents either one or both of them. 


5.6. Household and Expenditure  

This section includes each detail of your household. If there are other people earning for the household, the ownership of a house, it’s documentation, loans, investments etc. Some colleges may also ask for the car your parents drive.


5.7. Select College & Pay Application Charges 

After filling out the entire application form, you need to select the college to which you are willing to send an application. You can apply for one college or more than one college.

After selecting college, pay the charges of the CSS Profile application $25 which includes application charges and reporting charges.   

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5.8. Submit  

After completing the entire process review your CSS profile and submit it to the respective college.




6. FAQs about CSS Profile

 How much is the application fee for a College Board CSS Profile? 

The application charge for an application of CSS Profile is $25 which includes application and reporting charges both. However, you need to pay $16 for each application to the colleges you made after the first application.

You can apply to as many colleges as you want. But it requires $16 each time.


Can I get a Fee waiver for the CSS profile? 

Yes, you can get a fee waiver for this in some conditions.


Do I need to create another account if I am applying again? 

No, you can use your previous college board account if you are applying again. Your college board account can be utilised each time you want to apply. Just need to update your profile.


Will it require to have a new application each year to get financial aid in Undergraduate? 

No, Colleges only require the College Service Scholarship Profile at the time of admission. After getting selected for financial aid you will be directly eligible for the entire 4 years program.


“If You have any questions about any scholarship, you can also contact us for a live one-on-one session”

Whatsapp Contact: +393512735708

Khizar is a good man. He knows stuff. He usually spends his day discussing weather updates & supporting cats online. His blood group is pizza & his favorite singer is John wick.


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