The Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
All families applying for financial aid must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The FAFSA can now be submitted on October 1, 2017.
Please visit fafsa.ed.gov for more information.
The CSS Profile
Some colleges will also require the CSS PROFILE if you are applying for financial aid. To check if the college where you are applying require this documentation, please visit collegeboard.org/cssprofile
The PROFILE form is administered by the College Scholarship Service (CSS), the financial aid division of the College Board. The CSS PROFILE is required by many private colleges and universities to determine your eligibility for non-government financial aid, such as the institution’s own grants, loans and scholarships.
The biggest differences between the CSS PROFILE and the FAFSA are:
- Submission dates: The CSS PROFILE can be submitted in the fall; FAFSA cannot be submitted before October 1, 2017.
- Specific questions: The CSS PROFILE contains questions specific to the school or program you’re applying to; FAFSA contains the same questions for everyone.
- Different methodology: The CSS PROFILE determines your financial need differently than the FAFSA, taking into account such factors as whether your family owns a home. In general, the CSS PROFILE asks for more detailed information than FAFSA.
- Minimum student contribution: The CSS PROFILE requires this; the FAFSA doesn’t.
- Greater reliance on professional judgment: The CSS PROFILE gives financial aid counselors greater freedom to grant aid based on a student’s particular circumstances.
- Cost: There is a cost to filling out the CSS Profile, though some families may qualify for fee waivers; the FAFSA, as the name implies, is free.
[information from www.finaid.org]
Students who graduate in the top 15% of the class are eligible for free tuition at community college, which can continue upon completion at a NJ public college or university.
Useful Financial Aid websites: