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CSS Profile – (College Scholarship Service Profile)

Many people outside international focused education will find this acronym new, but it is beneficial for international students who are in need of financial aid. The College Scholarship Service Profile or CSS Profile is an online application for scholarships in the U.S. that are not from the federal government. The College Broad collects information from the profile that is used by almost 400 colleges and scholarship programs to award financial aid. Fortunately this includes international students, who otherwise are not applicable for the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) which is federally funded financial aid only applicable for U.S. citizens and possible green card holders. The CSS Profile option gives international students an opportunity for financial aid for U.S. universities beyond university based scholarships.

After students fill out the profile online on the College Board website they send it to colleges and scholarship programs that the student has chosen. Depending on the university a student is applying for determines whether or not they would have to fill out the application, therefore the student should check to see if their university requires it. And vice versa students can look for universities that require the profile and apply to them so that they can fill out the CSS Profile, especially students who are looking for more financial aid.

Students should keep in mind that they should submit the profile two weeks before the university or scholarship deadline. Most importantly they have to get it in at least by the deadline in order for their profiles to be sent to the universities and scholarships that require it. Late applications are never considered. In order to send the profile report to a university or scholarship program there is a fee, the first report costs $25 USD, each additional report is $16 USD; students who come from low-income families will qualify for and receive fee waivers.

The process to complete the profile is pretty easy. First students have to register on the College Board website, then complete the CSS profile and submit it. The application can be lengthy as it asks the details of the student’s family’s financials. It would be good for a student to prepare the profile with a parent or ask for their records of all of their incomes, properties, and assets. All of their financial information will be included in the application, including that of the student’s. Filling of the application will take time, so be sure that the student has started the application in advance of their deadline so that they are able to answer each question with accuracy.

After all of this is completed, the universities and scholarship programs will analyze the student’s profile and then assess the financial aid award.

Some universities accepting CSS Profile :

  • Boston University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Duke University
  • NYU
  • UPenn
  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • Harvard College
  • Stanford
  • University of Michigan
  • California Institute of Tech
  • Cornell University
  • MIT
  • University of Chicago
  • Yale university
  • The information below will be helpful while filling out the Application. We suggest students should gather these documents before completing the application:

  • Most recent federal income tax return(s), if completed
  • Previous year federal income tax return(s)
  • Records of money earned during your most recent tax year
  • Records of untaxed income and benefits for your most recent and previous tax year
  • Current bank statements
  • Current mortgage information
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