Get Abroad Education Loan At Affordable Interest Rates

CSS Profile For International Students

What is a CSS profile? or What is CSS financial aid? The CSS (College Scholarship Service) profile for international students is an application form submitted by around 200 undergraduate colleges for college financial assistance. It can be difficult to complete the CSS financial aid for international students. Filling out the College Board’s questionnaire, controlled and retained, opens the door to non-federal grants and other forms of institutional assistance that can make a significant difference when it comes to paying for college. In this article, we have elaborated on everything you need to know of when applying for CSS Financial aid and creating a CSS Profile.

The CSS Profile includes resources for families to identify any special or extenuating situations impacting their ability to pay in order to paint a fuller image of the finances of a household. Many private colleges or other institutions that have significant endowments require the submission.

Before delving into the college that you might want to attend, it’s a good idea to evaluate the entire cost of applying to and then attending a university. This information is best used with the assistance of a university financial aid office or admission counsellor to help you correctly determine and classify expenditures.

What Are The Major Costs Of Applying To College?

Even before you make your college choices, there are a variety of expenses to consider. Knowing these costs will help you budget and plan wisely. It is therefore advisable to understand how to dissect/determine expenses in order to produce a balanced college list. Some of the costs or expenses that you’ll come across when applying for your uni are explained below.

#1 University Application Fees: Application fees are levied on international students so that universities can cover the operational costs of examining and evaluating applications. They are charged in a variety of ways:

  • Centralized Application Fee: UC Application (UCLA, UC Irvine)
  • Individual Application Fee: The Common Application form, a university-specific application
  • Individual Fees & Centralized Fee: UCAS, Ontario system

#2 Financial Aid Application Fees: It is a sheer irony that you could have to pay money only to inform universities that you don’t have enough money to attend. Many colleges utilize a standardized financial aid application i.e. the CSS Profile to obtain financial assistance, which costs between $16 and $25 USD per school. The CSS Profile form, which can be seen online, is filled out with data from government and bank documents to accurately represent how much money students have available to pay for college. Once a college evaluates the financial account thoroughly, candidates may be eligible for need-based assistance.

#3 Postal/Courier Services Fees: If your applications are not electronic, you may have to send them by postal service. This is valid for many international institutions. Check the deadlines for your respective colleges. Many have criteria stating that the application papers “must be stamped and dated/sent by” a certain date.

#4 Standardized Testing & Reporting: There will be a charge to take standardised tests such as the SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test if your university list demands them. When you finish testing, if you know which institutions you want to apply to, you can choose to send the results to four colleges and universities for free. If your college list is not researched prior to the testing, score reports must be submitted and paid for separately.

#5 Document Verification: Some universities may need a legal or government authority to verify or confirm your qualifications. In some situations, your documents may require an official translation or even an apostille, which certifies from one nation to another that the document has been signed by a notary public.

#6 Enrollment Deposits: As a mark of commitment, you will be asked to submit a deposit at the time of enrolment. The amount of this deposit varies according to school and nation. Even if you receive a scholarship, you may be asked to pay a small, affordable enrollment fee to prove your commitment to the institution.

#7 Visa Application Fees: After you have been offered and accepted a seat at a university, you will begin the process of getting a visa to study in the nation where you intend to study. Visa fees vary by nation and can go up to $550 USD. 

What Are The Major Costs When Attending College?

When attending your university, there are several costs associated that you may not be aware of initially but will emerge gradually. Some of these costs include –

  • Visa (I-20 and other visa expenses)
  • Tuition (classes) (classes)
  • Board and lodging (living and meal plans)
  • Health Insurance (mandatory)
  • Additional Fees (varies)
  • Personal (airfare, books, miscellaneous)

Schools With A CSS Profile

The CSS profile for international students is considered only by some schools for financial assistance depending on need. Some are public schools but more are commercial institutions.

Schools that embrace the international student CSS profile:

  • University of America (DC)
  • Mary and William (VA)
  • University of Drexel (PA)
  • University of Fordham (NY)
  • College Grinnell (IA)
  • University of the Northwest (IL)
  • College of Rice (TX)
  • University of Syracuse (NY)
  • The University of Texas Christian
  • Virginian University
  • Yale College (CT)

Read About Abroad Education Loan

How Is The CSS Profile Used?

This application is used by colleges to –

  • Get a fuller picture of the family’s financial situation
  • Recognize the family’s true financial circumstances
  • Provide aid to students who are truly in need of it
  • Distribute the financial aid in a fair and equitable manner

How To Complete The CSS Profile

Listed below are the steps to follow when making your profile. These measures should be taken by students applying for a college that needs the CSS profile or families that need financial assistance and who have an interest in schools which use the form.

Step 1: Make an account of the College Board. Students who have finished the SAT already will have a College Board account to fill up the CSS Profile. Subscribe to or build a profile through https://cssprofile.collegeboard.org/.

Step 2: Gather the documents needed. In order to accept Federal Financial Assistance students, a CSS profile includes the use of tax records in the same year as a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The CSS profile for international students can be used with most of the same documents for students who have finished FAFSA already. Families record their profits on all forms two years before the year for a pupil. For example, the 2019 tax return will be used by a family who will apply for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Step 3: Select classes. Students should decide which colleges they want their CSS profile to get.

Step 4: Satisfy the order. It’ll start to sound just the same in several respects.

Families would also be encouraged to address special cases in depth. Experts claim it’s a safe way to explain something that doesn’t occur to families about their tax forms or any issue like how much a grandparent would pay abroad or any financial difficulties.

Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, several families may believe that their 2-year taxes do not represent their financial conditions sufficiently. In addition to presenting updates about a particular case, families can note that by calling the financial aid office of a college, they will still request further assistance.

Step 5: Make the submission. Before the CSS profile, international students are submitted to schools, families must pay an invoice or request a waiver.

Step 6: Check back. Following submission of the CSS financial aid profile for international students / CSS financial aid for international students, further guidance may be given. To view the appropriate activities and to see a payment receipt, students can refer back to the College Board Dashboard. When the form is sent, students will also add schools where they choose to send their accounts, but each new school would be fined.

The FAFSA VS The CSS Profile

The CSS Profile varies from that of the FAFSA, the free U.S. Department of Education form that specifies the eligibility of a student for federal financial assistance.

The CSS Profile enables institutions to ask non-FAFSA financial questions and to configure the questions. It is more extensive because it can take longer to finish, but it may also lead to extra financial assistance.

A few examples of concerns a family may face on the CSS Profile but will not find on the FAFSA include those regarding the valuation of the primary home of the family; the geographic cost of living consideration; and information about other family educational expenditures, such as costs for the private primary or secondary school of a sibling. For students with divorced, split or never-married parents, the CSS profile for international students is often likely to be somewhat different, and perhaps even more comprehensive. Unlike the FAFSA, financial details from both parents and their partners are needed by the CSS Profile.

More need-based assistance at a FAFSA-only school may be given to a student with separated parents who lives with a lower-earning parent since that school does not obtain the details generated by the CSS Profile on the non-custodial parent. On the other hand, since it is not registered on the FAFSA, a student in a family with high medical or childcare expenses may benefit from disclosing this additional information via the CSS Profile.

CSS Profile Fee Waiver

Can international students apply for a CSS Profile fee waiver? The CSS Profile needs a charge to be charged by families, but others will get a fee waiver.

Note that it costs $25 to fill out the CSS Profile and send it to one degree, plus $16 for each additional college, unlike the FAFSA, which is always free. For those who apply, there are fee waivers required for first-time domestic applicants. Waivers are available for low-income undergraduates who have received a waiver of the SAT fee; in situations where the parental income recorded on the application for the CSS Profile is around $45,000 or less for a family of four; or where students are orphans or court wards under the age of 24. For a family of four, there is no charge for noncustodial parents with a salary of $45,000 or less.

When Is The Deadline For The CSS Profile?

As there is a separate CSS profile for each institution, the deadlines often vary. Experts say the deadlines for the CSS Profile frequently match the deadlines for acceptance, but students can consult with their college to ensure that they apply for the form on time. When it opens on Oct. 1 each year, the same day the FAFSA opens, families will begin completing the CSS Profile.

Information The CSS Profile Asks For

CSS Profile fee waiver international students eligibility: The most recent W-2 forms, tax reports, untaxed income reports, small-business data, mortgage documents, and current bank statements should be given to prospective students who would like to apply for a CSS profile. If you have those documents, other stocks, bonds, or trusts may also be solicited. For at least two years previous to the year you intend to attend college, you may require financial documents. On the day of your CSS profile international students filing, all revenue-related details must be right. When filling out the CSS application form, you will also need to apply your parents’ income data. If your parents are split or divorced, things can get confusing, as most profile colleges would still like to see the revenue of your step-parents. This is inclusive of which house you spend most of the time in.

Can You Make Changes To Your Application?

In the CSS application, families can highlight any specific circumstances that colleges should take into account while considering their applications. Financial circumstances may alter in some cases while the application is being reviewed. Perhaps you discovered an error in your application after submitting it. To offer yourself the best chance at receiving aid, always notify universities of any unusual circumstances or inaccuracies. Because funds are limited, it is critical that you notify the college of any changes as soon as possible.

Should You Fill Out The FAFSA Fed Loans And The CSS Profile?

Yes, you absolutely must. Regardless of whether or not they already filled out the CSS profile, any student applying for college should fill out the FAFSA. This is because only institutional assistance is provided by the CSS Profile. There is only one kind of help you can receive. On the other hand, the FAFSA is opening the doors to many other kinds of financial assistance. Pell Grants, scholarships, work-study and low-cost subsidised student loans are used with this.


Completing the College Scholarship Service financial aid profile for international students will lead to institutional grants for certain families and a lower net price, which corresponds to what the student currently spends to go to a given college. But for others, submitting the application will not have an impact. Always fill out the CSS application form, regardless. Who knows you may have some special situations, caught by the document that makes you qualify for financial assistance.


1. Do international students have to fill CSS Profile?

In order to provide financial assistance to international students, many colleges offer institutional aid. To better understand your financial situation within the context of your local economy, these colleges require information about your family’s income, assets, and expenses. This information is gathered through the CSS Profile application.

2. How do I create a CSS Profile?

To create a CSS Profile, visit the College Board’s website and create an account. Provide personal details and answer questions about your family’s financial situation. Pay the required fee and submit the profile to your chosen colleges or universities. Be sure to adhere to deadlines and requirements for each institution.

3. Is CSS only for undergraduate students?

The CSS Profile, provided by the College Board, is an online application specifically designed for undergraduate students seeking financial aid. This application serves as a unified platform utilized by nearly 400 colleges, universities, professional schools, and scholarship programs. Through the CSS Profile, students can apply for financial assistance by providing relevant information and data to these institutions.

4. Does Harvard require CSS Profile for international students?

Irrespective of your citizenship status or application timeline, both the CSS Profile and an IDOC Packet are required to be submitted. Additionally, US citizens and permanent residents must also submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). These documents are essential for applying for financial aid and determining eligibility for various student aid programs.

If you liked reading this blog, check out other informative blogs on our website-

  1. Everything You Should Know About Various Types Of Bank Accounts
  2. Here’s Why You Need Travel Insurance For Canada
  3. Everything You Need To Know About Education Loan EMI Calculator

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Scroll to Top

Share this blog

CSS Profile For International Students