CSS Profile

2010
08.20

Let’s discuss the CSS Profile in regard to educational financial aid.  It’s a very important part of the college financial aid process and many parents and students do not understand how important it is.

The College Scholarship Service or CSS Profile is another form many colleges use to determine how much non-governmental financial aid students should receive.  It is administered and evaluated by the financial aid division of the College Board.  On the CSS Profile, there is a lot of opportunity to make upper middle class (UMC) families look poorer than they are.

Keep in mind, looking poorer on your income taxes during the base year is the first thing you should do.  Then filling out the FAFSA is the next step.  The third step is the CSS Profile.


The great thing about the CSS Profile is you can include more expenses than you can on the FAFSA.  For example, the FAFSA does not take into account medical costs, but the CSS Profile does.  If you have a high amount of medical bills in your family, now is the time to declare it on the Profile form.

The Profile is much more detailed and goes in depth to really get a sense of the student’s financial need.  So it’s an opportunity for parents to really show all of their debt and expenses.  Financial aid counselors evaluate the Profile.  They use their professional judgment to dole out student college financial aid.  UMC families have a better chance of receiving more aid by submitting the Profile.

The Profile has a section for Parent Expenses.  Use this section wisely.  Many parents do not utilize it and miss out on a lot of money.  In this section, you should list:

  • Medical expenses not paid by insurance
  • Child support paid by you
  • Educational student loans of parents
  • Elementary to high school tuition
  • Monthly mortgage payment
  • Any OTHER expenses

List anything and everything that is legitimate.  Do not exaggerate or lie, especially since you’ve already filed your income taxes and the FAFSA.  But be certain to add any possible expenses that fit into the above categories.

There is also a section for Explanations and Special Circumstances.  Let’s say you know you’ll be unemployed in a month’s time, for example, list it here.  Let’s say if you predict high medical costs for the upcoming year due to a recent cancer diagnosis, list it here.  Again, do not lie.  Be honest and only include truthful information that will result in more financial aid.

It’s only $18 to file the CSS Profile.  All UMC parents should submit this form to increase their chances of receiving more money for college.


$3.4 Billion in Free Scholarships.

© White Picket College, 2010 – College Funding for the Upper Middle Class

Your Reply