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Subscribing to CSS Profile
Institutions interested in subscribing to CSS Profile should email finaidservices@collegeboard.org.

Setting CSS Profile Options
Once an institution has signed up, it can set numerous options via the Service Options (SOF) Section of finaid online.

CSS Profile options include:

  1. Adjustments to the IM computation
  2. Specification of deadline dates
  3. Parental data required from independent students
  4. Application completion by international students
  5. Institution specific supplemental questions allowing the elimination of an institutional application
  6. Completion of the Noncustodial PROFILE (NCP)
  7. Acknowledgement messages (further instructions for the applicant concerning tax form submittal, etc.)

The CSS Profile Processing Calendar
CSS Profile Applications may be completed October 1 through mid-February two years later (i.e. processing for AY 2018-19 runs from October 1, 2017 through February 15, 2019).

The CSS Profile Application
The CSS Profile Application is customized for the student and his or her family following Registration. It contains questions about the student's and parents' households, income, assets, and expenses. Applicants are provided with step-by-step instructions and a customized Pre-Application Worksheet.

The submit process prompts applicants to complete any required fields that are left blank, notes possible discrepancies in information, and provides a final opportunity to applicants to review and correct their information.

Applicants are charged a $9 application fee and a reporting fee of $16 per institution that may be paid by credit or debit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover). Additionally, fee waivers are awarded automatically to first-time domestic applicants from very low income families with very limited assets who qualify based on the income and asset information provided on the application.

Communications with CSS Profile Applicants
When the applicant submits the CSS Profile application, he or she receives an online Acknowledgment and an email which includes a payment receipt and, if applicable, additional instructions (i.e. NCP and IDOC notifications).

To ensure the highest possible applicant completion rate, follow-up email messages are sent to families if the CSS Profile Application is not submitted within 21 days of the applicant's registration.

When a parent email address is provided, the parent is sent a copy of all email communications sent to the student.

CSS Profile Reporting
All institutions are provided access to their applicants' data via e-FNARs (electronic Financial Need Analysis Reports) - online PDF reports available on finaid online. Institutions may also elect to download their data (Data Delivery) via an XML file, and/or download their e-FNARs by selecting those options on their SOF. Reporting begins in late October and continues daily until the day after CSS Profile shut down. Information from all applications submitted before reporting begins will be provided in the institution's first electronic file, otherwise information will be available (barring unforeseen circumstances) the day after the applicant submits his or her CSS Profile according to the schedule the institution selects on its SOF.

To view e-FNARs on this website, you must have Adobe Reader or higher loaded on your computer. Adobe Acrobat Reader is free software available at http://get.adobe.com/reader.

Data Delivery and e-FNARs are available for download or viewing online through June three years after start-up (i.e. e-FNARs for the 2018-19 processing year will be available in the Institutional Portal from October 2017 through June 2020).

PowerFAIDS Support for e-FNARS
PowerFAIDS contains functionality that automates access to e-FNARs. Click on "e-FNARs and PowerFAIDS" for details on how to set up access in PowerFAIDS.

e-FNARs and PowerFAIDS

Institutional CSS Profile Fees
Institutions are charged an institutional fee only if they opt to ask supplemental questions on the CSS Profile application. The fee is based on the number of questions the institution selects and the number of students for whom applications are customized. Institutions are billed monthly based on actual volume at a rate of $0.06 per question, per student, with a yearly maximum of $16,500.

Subscribe Now!
Please contact us at finaidservices@collegeboard.org to subscribe.

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