Filling Out The Profile

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One can simply avail the original paper FAFSA forms by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID, but the PROFILE form can be obtained only after one registers with the College Board.

The registration and completion of the PROFILE can only be done online. Previously, one could call and order a paper version of the form, but that is no longer the case. First, you will be required to create an account at the College Board’s website (www.collegeboard.com). Once you are a member of the site, then you can register for the actual PROFILE program. The registration fee for the PROFILE form is $9, and a $16 processing fee is charged for every school applied. You will have to pay either through credit card or an electronic debit when you submit your completed PROFILE data.

ABOUT THE PROFILE

One should carefully review the financial aid requirements of each college, in order to determine which ones need the PROFILE information.

After you are registered with the College Board for the PROFILE, then you can immediately fill the form. The following online information will be presented to you after you complete the registration:

  1. Some general guidelines to correctly fill the PROFILE forms, as well as a customized pre-application worksheet listing the questions, you will be asked to complete online. You can download and print out this worksheet.
  2. The questions, as asked in the PROFILE form, involving student data, student finances, and if required parental household and financial information as well as some other items.

    Previously everyone was asked the same questions, but starting from the year 2007-2008, the core questions will be generated for you, based on the responses you provide during the PROFILE registration process. The questions are designed to request the basic information that the schools require.

  3. In addition to these questions, the forms have some 200 optional institutional questions too. Based on the college or program codes that one has provided; the College Board generates the institutional questions. These questions are usually placed at the end section of the form.
  4. Based on some of your answers, which you have provided while registering for the PROFILE, you may have to fill some other supplemental forms, such as the Noncustodial Parent’s statement and/or the Business/Farm Supplement. These forms are not processed by the College Board; rather it has to be sent to the aid office of every college to which the student is applying, as these colleges require specific information related to the forms. Starting with the 2005-2006 version of the profile, some schools may require the noncustodial PROFILE (NCP) to be filled up by the noncustodial parents. The processing fee for this $25, regardless of the number of schools involved.
  • Sending the forms too early or too late is not a profitable decision. You can register and submit the PROFILE for a particular academic year, by October 1 of the previous year. But we recommend you to do it by mid-November. This is because, by then the child will have a better vision of the college he/she wants to apply to, and you can avoid sending the PROFILE to extra colleges (processing fee for a PROFILE is $16, for each college). Otherwise, if you apply too soon you may be paying fees for schools to which the child does not want to study. Further, some other institutional questions may be asked in the future, which have not been asked before, and you will have the opportunity to update any previously submitted data, but these revisions will only be sent to the additional colleges.
  • Sending the data too late, just before your earliest school’s PROFILE deadline can cause problems, because during the peak time, the site will be overloaded with applications. So, you may also be required to send some additional supplements, for which you will have to keep some extra time in hand as the logistics will take time, and the supplements must reach the college before the deadline.
  • While you register for the PROFILE, most of the questions you come across will be self-explanatory types, but you should remember to read each question carefully. Here are some additional tips one should follow:
  1. One should be very careful while selecting various listings for college and programs, and/or the different listings for various colleges or schools within the same university. There are questions which relate to the student and the parent differently. These questions must be answered cautiously.
  2. While you prepare the list for the college and programs, you should give priority to the colleges that require the PROFILE at the earliest. After you select the colleges, then you can add the additional schools/programs.
  3. Make sure your answers in the PROFILE match with your answers to similar questions on the FAFSA form.

Documents required for filing the CSS PROFILE (Parents and Students)

  • Social Security numbers (SSN)
  • Birthdates
  • Federal income tax returns 1040s and W2s, and all other documents that state the money earned in the most recent years.
  • If either parent is unemployed, the date that unemployment began.
  • Civil service or union retirement plan
  • Records of Untaxed income and benefits for the last two years.
  • Current bank statements
  • Current mortgage information
  • Records of Savings. Stocks, bonds, trusts, and other investments.
  • For business owners: Start date, current market value, the amount owed on business, number of employees, name of the owners and percentages owned, other family members who have share and the percentage of their share, other family members who receive a salary (Details).
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • .
  • Current value of tax deferred retirement, pension, annuity and savings plans, including the IRA, SRA, Keogh, SEP, 401 (k), 403B, 408, 457, 501C.
  • Parent earning projection for current tax year.
  • Current market value of home, value of mortgage, year purchased, original purchase price, and the same information of any other estate owned by the parents.
  • Total elementary, junior high, and high school tuition paid in the prior and current year, and how many children you paid for and expect to pay for.
  • Monthly home mortgage payment.
  • For farm owners: name of the farm, number of acres, current market value per acre, current market value of the farm, the amount owed, location with address.
  • Amount of medical and dental expenses not covered insurance or medical or dental plans.
  • For non-custodial parent for current and previous years: agreement of how much the non-custodial parent will pay for the college.
  • VA benefits earned/ expected to earn.
  • Student tuition benefits from parent employer or student employer.
  • Student uniform gift to minor.
  • Parent child support paid to another household.
  • Parent education loan repayment, amount paid in current and previous tax years- on their own educational loans (does not include parent PLUS loans for child).
  • Credit Card information to pay the fee for the PROFILE ($25.00 application fee, $16.00 per institution sent).
  • Parents report for all other children (except the student and parents)
  • Year, Manufacturing, and model of the motor vehicles.
  • Any other additional real estate, with their year of purchase, purchase price, current value, and amount owed.
  • Schedule C businesses: name, amount invested, and percentage of ownership.
  • If the parent/s is/are the beneficiary of any trust or estate: type of trust, value, terms, and other pertinent information (if the parents have received).
  • If another family member is the beneficiary of the trust: Details.
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