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How You Can Get a CSS Profile Fee Waiver
The CSS Profile gives students access to institutional aid from hundreds of schools. However, it is not free to complete. Many students are eligible for the CSS Profile fee waiver, which will save them money in the college application process. Continue reading to learn more about who is eligible for a CSS Profile fee waiver and how to get one!
What is the CSS Profile?
Students who fill out the CSS Profile are able to apply and be considered for state and institutional aid at over 200 universities, colleges, professional schools, and scholarship programs. It is usually used by private institutions. Some schools may require that a student complete the CSS Profile to be considered for financial aid. Students typically submit the CSS Profile during their senior year of high school. You must submit the CSS Profile annually to any schools that accept it.
The CSS Profile uses your family’s financial assets and income to determine your eligibility for private financial aid. The CSS Profile is similar to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is used to give students access to federal financial aid.
Unlike the FAFSA, the CSS Profile is not free to complete and send to schools.
See also: FAFSA 101 guide
How much does it cost?
Students can send their FAFSA to 10 schools for free. The CSS Profile, on the other hand, would cost a student $169 to send to the same 10 schools. This amount could be a financial burden for some students and families.
Also see: How to complete the CSS Profile
Who is eligible for a CSS Profile fee waiver?
Students who want to receive a CSS Profile fee waiver must be undergraduates and live in the United States. Students who live abroad are not eligible to receive the CSS Profile fee waiver. Domestic students can receive the fee waiver if:
- Their family’s adjusted gross income is below $100,000.
- The student qualified for an SAT fee waiver.
- The student is an orphan or ward of the court under 24 years old.
If you qualified for an SAT fee waiver, be sure to login to your CSS Profile application using the same information you did to register for the SAT.
If you didn’t initially qualify for the CSS Profile fee waiver, but your family’s situation changed due to unforeseen circumstances such as a natural disaster, contact College Board customer service to explain your circumstances.
How to get a CSS Profile fee waiver
Students who are eligible to receive the CSS Profile fee waiver will find out while they complete the application. Once you reach the online payment process, you will be notified if you qualify. The decision is made automatically based on your responses in the profile application.
If you don’t qualify for the CSS Profile fee waiver, but the costs would pose a financial burden to your family, your school may have its own program to cover the fees. Yale University, for example, offers a school-specific fee waiver.
What does the fee waiver cover?
The CSS profile fee waiver covers the initial $25 application fee. It also covers the cost for reports sent to additional schools.
Submit your application by the deadline
If you plan to submit a CSS Profile, be sure to do so before your school’s deadline! The application for 2022-2023 became available on October 1, 2021. Each school sets its own deadline, so check the ones you plan to submit and apply as soon as possible!
Also see: College application deadline guide
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to send the CSS Profile before I know that I got into a school?
Yes – most schools require that you submit the CSS Profile by the same date that your application is due. Some schools use your financial need to help decide whether to grant you admission. As a result, you’ll need to submit it before you know that you’ve gained admission to a school. This makes the fee waiver all the more useful. You’ll avoid paying to send the profile out to schools that don’t accept you.
Is the CSS Profile worth it?
The CSS Profile can be costly without a waiver, but many schools require it. So, if you are seriously considering a school that requires a CSS Profile, it is worth it in order to complete your application. If these costs inhibit your ability to apply to schools, you may qualify for a waiver.
Can international students get a CSS Profile fee waiver?
Unfortunately, international students do not qualify for CSS Profile fee waivers. Regardless of your financial situation, you’ll have to pay full price for your CSS Profile submissions if you are an international student.