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Home Ask Ask the Edvisor What is the PROFILE and how can I access it?

What is the PROFILE and how can I access it?



I am applying to attend college next fall. Since I will need financial aid, my parents and I submitted my 2017-18 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) several weeks ago ahead of the financial aid deadlines at the colleges I am considering. A few of the schools have contacted me and requested that we also complete something called the PROFILE. What is it and how can I access it? 


Congratulations on submitting your FAFSA ahead of the colleges’ financial aid deadlines!

While most colleges and universities use the FAFSA for awarding institutional aid, some supplement the FAFSA with other financial aid application forms.

The College Scholarship Service (CSS)/ Financial Aid PROFILE ( form is used by about 200 mostly-private colleges and universities for awarding their own financial aid funds. The colleges and universities still use the FAFSA for federal and state aid. In addition, some scholarship competitions may also require the CSS PROFILE form. (For a detailed comparison of the FAFSA and PROFILE, visit:

Some colleges and universities may require their own financial aid application forms in addition to the FAFSA and PROFILE. These forms may collect information that is not available on the FAFSA or PROFILE, such as questions about unusual family circumstances and questions for the noncustodial parent when the student’s parents are divorced or separated. These forms help the institution award its own financial aid funds and must be submitted directly to each college or university directly.

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