completing the css/profile

Last week on Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, guest host Sally Ganga devoted the first segment of the show to the School’s In: Application Workshop, where she and her guest addressed whether and when students should disclose autism spectrum disorders and learning disabilities on the college application. She spent the last two thirds of the show diving deeply into the intricacies of what can be a very important (and complex) financial aid application at some schools, the CSS/PROFILE.

Sally and her first guest, Julia Jones, began their conversation about reporting learning disabilities by discussing the Americans with Disabilities Act. From there, they provided some detailed scenarios of when it might be appropriate to report, and other times when it might not be necessary to do so. Julia encouraged students to review their transcript through the lens of an admission officer, and decide from there whether there is a story that needs to be told. Sally and Julia’s homework assignment was for students to research the support services provided at each college under consideration, contact the relevant office directly if possible, and find out whether it is helpful for students to identify their need for services during the admission process.

Sally’s next guest, college finance expert Laurie Peltier, had tons of great information to share about the CSS/PROFILE, a financial aid application that about 200 undergraduate institutions require (in addition to the FAFSA) to consider students for their institutional need-based funds. The CSS/PROFILE form is only available online, and unlike the FAFSA, is not free—most students will need to pay a $9 registration fee and then $16 for each school they send the information to. Laurie shared a wealth of information, ranging from why colleges choose to require this form and the differences between the FAFSA and the CSS/PROFILE (hint: the FAFSA is much simpler) to the most common mistakes that people make when completing it. If a college you are applying to requires the CSS/PROFILE (and here’s a list of the schools that do), you won’t want to miss this episode!

Be sure join Sally again for the next episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation when she and her guests will be discussing the University of Michigan and University of Wisconsin supplemental essays, how to submit standardized test scores, and the ramifications of missed financial aid deadlines (you probably haven’t missed any yet, but it’s important to know what happens if you do!).

Getting-In-CTA

Written by Kathy Ruby
Kathy Ruby is a member of College Coach’s team of college finance experts. Before joining College Coach, Kathy was as a Senior Financial Aid Officer at St. Olaf College and Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.