CSS Profile Walkthrough

Recorded Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 10:30 PM

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About this livestream


Learn how to complete the CSS Profile and apply for financial aid. Vinay Bhaskara will provide an in-depth, step-by-step walkthrough of how to complete the CSS Profile. He'll discuss common mistakes to avoid, how various questions and fields are used, and much much more. He'll also open the floor for a Q&A session to field any and all questions about the CSS Profile or financial aid.

Video Transcript


As we dealt with a couple of streaming technical issues. So, before we get started, I do want to just do a quick audio and video check. If you wouldn't mind letting me know if you can hear me and see me. Okay, then we're going to go ahead and get started. Once I get confirmation that everyone can you hear me and see me.

Alright, awesome. Looks like folks can hear me and see me. So we're gonna go ahead and get started. In today's live stream, we're gonna be taking a look at the CSS Profile, which is a financial aid form that is used by about 350 or so private colleges around the United States. Now, the CSS Profile is similar to the FAFSA, which is the Free Application for sorry, the Federal the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. And that's the one that's used for any federal financial aid as well as any financial aid that is given out by most public colleges. But there are about 350 or so private colleges who use the CSS Profile, which is a different form, in that it takes into account more variables, right. In general, the key difference between the FAFSA and the CSS is the FAFSA is going to be taking into account things like the value of your primary residence, as well as the value of any small family businesses or farms. So it is a less generous financial aid formula than the FAFSA, which looks at a smaller set of assets. All right, let's go ahead and get started with today's walkthrough.

Alright, first things first, we're gonna take a look at what it means to sort of fill up CSS Profile. So first we're gonna do is we're gonna sign into fall 2021 in spring 20.2, the CSS Profile. Now, it is important to note that the way that the CSS Profile is actually governed is it's offered by the College Board. Yeah, the same people that give you the SH T, or the AC t. So if you don't have a college board account already, and I'm sure many of you do, because obviously you take tests throughout the college process, if you don't have a college board account, you're going to need an account with the College Board in order to create a pro account with the CSS Profile. And so you basically just have to enter your standard standard account creation details, your name, your gender, your date of birth, your email address, if they have it for you, right.

Your high school graduation year, for most of you in the audience, it's going to be May, or June of 21, the zip or postal code that you live in, and then where you go to school. So in this case, we'll do gunnery, well, actually, we'll do Lexington, eye school. And then you're actually able to enter, and they have most of schools here, if your school isn't listed, you can check this box, and then you can let them know, but for most of your high school is going to be located in this look up to that. Okay, um, you can also look up the school based on zip code or postal code if you know the address of your school, but you're not able to find the name or you maybe don't have the correct stuff. Then finally, you're gonna have your username and password pretty straight forward. You know, this is Oops, sorry, seconds.


And then you're able to go from there.


And then you can choose a security question. My answer here is completely fake. So don't go trying to use this anywhere else. Now I'm getting some feedback that the window of the CSS Profile is a little bit blurry. Let me see if I can try and zoom in a little bit more to make it clearer. Is this clearer visually for everyone out there? Take a look at the updated sizing and let me know if that's any better for all of you.

Is this more clear for all of you? Or is it still kind of looking blurry for all of you? Okay, great. I'm getting a lot of reactions, saying that it's clear for me, for all of you. So we're going to go ahead and push forward. All right, um, okay. So last thing they're gonna look for is your address here. So you can just enter any address in this case, I'm going to enter a fake address.

And then this last one here is you can choose whether or not you want the College Board to send you text messages, you don't get any benefit from having doing from selecting this box. So if you want to use them College Board Feel free to, but there's no benefit to checking this box. Same with any information about college board programs. And the last piece is your parent information. Now, they also want your parents email inbox. And again, that stuff that parents can choose again, there's no benefit. So there's really not any value in having your parents like this. It's only if you want the information from the College Board, that you should be selecting these boxes. Finally, agree to the terms conditions, and then you create your account. And then you're able to go from here, you basically then they'll ask you to confirm your first name, your last name, your gender, and your date of birth. Just go ahead and hit confirm. Um, and then now you have a college board account that's been created. So now you're ready to move forward. Again, this is something where you do not have to fill this out in order to get financial aid. So you can definitely no not now or Yes, definitely. It's really up to you. I would recommend just looking No, usually, because the College Board does, I guess that one, share your information with colleges and scholarships. So unless you actually want them to share your information with those institutions, you can click No, if not, you click Yes. Alright, so that's where you go from there. So now you move forward, they asked for you to complete the College Board terms and conditions. These are all pretty straightforward, kind of move on from there. All right, and now you're in the CSS Profile. So here's the data that you're gonna need to fill out the CSS Profile at a very high level, the parent and student social security numbers or social basically federal identity identity numbers 2019, federal income tax returns, W two forms and other types of money that were earned in 2019, and 2020. So the money, the earnings that they're going to use for your financial aid application are going to be for the 2019 tax year. So that's something you'll have to keep in mind, W two forms for money that you earn any unpacks income or benefits that you earn in 2019 2020, your current bank statements, your current mortgage information, current records of savings, stocks, bonds, trust and any other investments. And then the non custodial parents email addresses, if applicable. So want to just quickly clarify what custodial and noncustodial parents mean. So the custodial parent is the parent of the student who the parent the student spends a majority of their time with, physically. So it is the parent if you're the student and saying this call is the parent who you live with the majority of the year, if your parents have joint custody, and one parent has you for like five extra days per year, that's going to be who your custodial parent, it's right now in practice, you can kind of you know, you can kind of pick and choose if your parents have joint custody, you can kind of choose whichever parent you'd like. So one thing to keep in mind is that CSS Profile, unlike the FAFSA is still going to take in the information of both parents. So regardless of whether you know you live more with your dad, or your dad makes less money, or your mom makes less money, or whatever the College Board is the CSS Profile, and the schools that sit behind it, are going to expect both your mom and your dad or both you're both of your biological parents are both of your legal guardians to contribute, regardless of your regardless of which parents, you live with more. So this is really just a boilerplate thing you need to put in there. Alright, so next up, you're able to go forward with the CSS Profile. So we're going to go ahead and move forward. Here. Whoops, circle back. And we're going to go ahead and get started.

Now, we're here. We're just going to double check what's going on here. Sorry. All right. Just give me one second, and then we'll go ahead and push forward.

All right, perfect. And here we go. Basically, the CSS Profile has a thing on its screen, where you're not actually able to see the the CSS profiles, components, you're not actually able to see the beginning. The CSS Profile button. If you, you know, if you're in a zoomed in screen, just do one second, and we'll go ahead and push forward. Alright, so in this first section, you're going to basically be asked to fill in your first name, your middle name, your last name, your preferred name, if you have that, and that's any different than your any of these, your email address, your phone number, your date of birth, your marital status as the student, the citizenship or the so basically your citizenship status, and then the country where you live. Now, keep in mind, in general, if you're an international student listening to this call, that usually, you know, you are going to be, usually you're going to be positioned such that most schools will not give you financial aid, and thus the dusty, sort of like in practice, you know, filling out CSS profiles is rarely going to be that valuable for you as an international student. Alright, so let's go ahead and get started. And just keep in mind that there are some tooltips over here to the right, when you're filling out the CSS Profile. So that's the Getting Started portion. Okay.

Now, now that you're done getting started, you can kind of go from forward from here, I was gonna quickly fill this out to make sure that all the data is in here. And unfortunately, you do have to re enter information, the College Board account, information does not carry over, which kind of sucks, but it is.

So I'm just quickly go through until it's out. And just for context, and eligible non citizen is someone who you're basically either if you're a permanent resident, or you have a green card, or if you are a it's or it's your if you are a he basically under certain refugee status, otherwise there is, if you're an international student, it's very tough for you to use a CSS Profile. I'm going to ask for your social security number, and you have to just

All right, the next thing we're gonna look at is your student status. So the first question is, do you have any legal dependents? Right, so basically, if you have any children, for most of you, in the students, that category, this answer is going to be a no. The next question is if you are a veteran of the US Armed Forces or currently serving on active duty, for most of you, this is going to be no, but if you are a veteran or currently serving in the military, then it's going to be yes. If you were awarded the court, again, it's a relatively rare situation. But if you were awarded the court, that's something you have to answer there. If you were in foster care, at any point, you have to do that. If you are in emancipated minor by a court in your residence in your state of residence other that's again, something you have to put in here, yes or no, for mostly it's gonna be no. And finally, if you're homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, that's again, something you'll need to answer. So that's kind of your student status. The next thing they'll look at is your housing information. Um, so the first question is to look for your street address and nice.

And you're just going to enter this information as quickly as possible. For most of you are going to default into the United States, Massachusetts, and enter zip code.

And then basically, you can choose whether your mailing address is the same or different. Now one thing I will say is that if you are at a boarding school, and the vast majority of boarding schools are not operating in person this year, but if you are at a boarding school in a normal year, your mailing address and your permanent dress might be different. So just kind of keep that in mind. But for the most part, it's going to be the same. The same address. Okay, great. So we're gonna go ahead and Save and Continue. Next thing they're gonna look at is your demographics. Oops, sorry. So they'll go here, look kind of put forward just making sure that this is all confirmed. The next day so they're gonna add in is your parental relationships. So in terms of parental relationships, right, or they're gonna ask for your parents details. So we're going to add basically both the parents Now it's important to keep in mind that you need to include all Have your parents. So if you have multiple step parents, if you have a legal guardian, if you have any other sort of new parent, they're going to need to be added in here. So add Gina, as the mother will add, whatever, again, we'll add the Father. And let's just say for context that there actually is a stepmother in law, this one, the father and mother are divorced, and the father and mother got remarried, and then the father got remarried. So that would be each parent, and then need to add whether or not they're dead. So if your parents unfortunately, are dead, then you'll need to add in that detail as well. So you're gonna go ahead and click Save and Continue. Now for which of the parents basically, they're going to the rest of you want to ask for information from the parents, who was lived with who lived with the kid the most during year, after this game, let's say that it was it was the mother who you live with, you put that in, if it was the father, you'd put both of those and then you have to put both of their information. Now, it is very important to note that if your parents are divorced, and then remarried, both your parents and your step parents income and money will be used to pay for your college. admissions, right like, like, basically, colleges require you to use the resources of both your parents and your step parents. And the reason for that is basically a lot of people tried to get around these rules by putting money in the name of the parent and saying, oh, the step parent isn't willing to pay, therefore, we want more financial aid. So in response, colleges have set it up such that in order for you to get your in order for you to to get financial aid, it needs to be on the basis of all of your step parents contributing money.

So then there's a bunch of information about your parents that needs to come into play. So the first question is, where do the parents live? Again, that's the country of residence, going to be united states for the majority of you. So let's move forward here. In the next section, they're going to ask information about your current school as a student, and then your plans for 2021 2022, which is the upcoming fall academic year. So the first thing that we're looking at is your current academic year, which is say which year you are in. And basically their what they're going to do is they're going to take a look at your academic year. And then essentially, what you use entering what you're going to hear is, for the majority of us, you're going to be in 12th grade. But that's kind of what that looks like. And that's the 2021 academic year 2020 2021 academic year is this current academic year. And so you can you can move on from there. The next question is the current High School information. So you're just gonna look up the details of your high school. And that's something that you do have to do via a separate search bar. And so basically, you have to look up your high school for the mass majority of you your high school is going to be listed in the CSS is look up. And then they do ask if you attended a private high school, how much was received in scholarships and grants, say maybe it's like 15,000, and how much was paid for by the parents to 5000. That's an example something that the College Board does ask for in CSS Profile, but it's not required. And the reason is that obviously, if you attended a public school, you won't have paid anything in terms of tuitions, nor receive any scholarships or grant money. So you can kind of leave that blank or fill it in depending on the type of school that you attend. Okay, now, the next question that they're the you're going to be asked to complete is the college and program selection. So the college and program selection is essentially the place where you're going to actually pick which schools you'll be applying to through the CSS Profile. Before we move forward, I am going to take a quick 32nd break to refill my water bottle and, and, you know, grab a drink of water and I will be right back and then we'll move on to the college program selection. So I will be right back folks.

Sorry about that folks, my throat was hurting a little bit, so I just needed to run and grab something to drink. Alright. So next up, we have the college and program selection. And so basically what you're gonna be doing here is adding colleges to the college board's thing. Now I want to just quickly change what I'm sharing on my screen. So give me a second. And I'm going to pull up this on the on another screen to show you what it looks like to actually complete the ... to show you what it looks like to actually complete the the search colleges, right, sorry, just give me one second, we're going to go ahead and share this for all of us so that you can see what I'm looking at as well. Okay. All right. So what we're looking at here, just give me one second to get this configured for all of you. What we're looking at here is the tool that the College Board allows you to use to basically search for universities, what you're able to do is you're able to search by a few different methods. The first is the CSS code number, which every college has. And so all you have to do to find the CSS code number is just go to Google basically, here option to show you what it looks like. Right? Very, very straightforward. All you do is you go to Google google.com. And you search, you know, Northeastern CSS Profile.

It'll pop up here, and Northwestern school code is that, and then what we're going to do is going to pop back over here, we're going to enter the CSS code number 3667. Search, that's going to bring us up Northwestern Northeastern University, sorry, you're going to add it to CSS Profile. So that's super straightforward. And then you're gonna basically do it again and again. So what's gonna happen is, now one thing that is a little dumb is that you do actually have to technically re hit the button to search for schools every time. So that part is a little bit annoying, but it is what it is. So you're able to go through from there. And so here, you're going to maybe search by program name, this case, let's say we're searching for the Chicago, enter that here, University of Chicago, Illinois, go through from there. So these are the schools that you can access to. And unlike the FAFSA, the the CSS Profile does not limit the number of schools that you can submit your CSS Profile. So you don't have to have to do the get the dance like we do with the FAFSA, where you pick pick certain schools and you have to edit your submission or anything like that, because this profile is much more simple in terms of once you submit It queues to CSS Profile, you can submit it to all of your schools. So we're gonna go ahead and take you. In practice, many of you will have many more schools that you've attended CSS Roboto. But that's what we have here. Then, for each college that you've selected, you're going to be asked to pick which of the categories you apply to. Again, for the vast majority of you, it's going to be first year undergraduates who have never previously attended school. seats, enter that in there as well. Housing plans, if you have any housing plans like this, depending on when you're where you're going to live. So you live on campus, you pick that off campus, with parents with relatives, again, that's going to be your choice. For most colleges, as a freshman, you are going to be required to live on campus, unless you're explicitly a commuter student, living with your parents, you're usually not allowed to live off campus, not at all. And then they're also going to ask the plans under which you're applying to the school, regular decision, early action or early decision. So you've got to select which one you're going to apply to, depending on the school.

And then you do the same for any other schools you have on your list, again, first year undergraduate housing plans off campus, and then which plan you plan to apply to the school under, let's say, early action. Okay, so that's the individual colleges, then the next piece is, the next section is going to be all about your parents, education level, employment, and many other pieces like that. So the first thing we're gonna look at is the date of birth for the first parent, the inventor, Now usually, this is gonna be one of your parents, and a step parent, or both of your biological parents or both of your legal guardians, or adoptive parents, for that matter. And so here we're gonna have here is your answers, I didn't get to their social security number, if you know it, enter their email address, phone number, again, optional state of residence, assume that it's usually gonna be the same as yours. And then highest level of education completed. Next up, they're going to look at employment status. So you know, if you're employed by someone else, you're going to enter that in there. If you're self employed, you're going to enter your profession and the name of your employer or business, which is usually the name of your business, unemployed, if you're an employment, and then also you should know when you're unemployed begin. And then if you're retired, or like, you know, choose to be unemployed, or you're homemaker or something like that. It's like that fourth option, but for a lot of youth either going to be employed by others, self employed, or unemployed. And so you just enter in the details here, you enter your status as to whether you were or AR in the US Armed Forces, obviously, that's important one, if you're a dislocated worker, yes or no. And then your occupation and profession, could be engineer could be well, there could be whatever. Same with the name of your employer and visit your business.

Um, the number of years you've been at your current employment. The next thing you're going to look at is whether or not you participate in any retirement plans. Most of you out there, your parents are going to have one of these plans, which is an IRA, or 401k, this is the most common ones. Again, mostly, we're also going to plan on drawing Social Security, unless you're a non citizen parent of a US citizen. Um, some of you may have an employer sponsored retirement plan, this is usually going to be like a pension or something like that distinct and separate from your 401k. So if your employer has a 401k match, you're not going to include that here. This is only if you have a separate like pension or retirement plan. That's that, that your employer provides. Similarly, if you have a government pension of some sort that's provided by the US state or federal governments, that's going to be that one right there. If you have something related to your membership in a union, you're going to like that one, something related to your sort of, you know, membership in the military, I'll put that one and then so on and so forth. And then you also have to enter in the amount of money that this parent has, in all their retirement plans, but together. Right, then the same is gonna happen for parent two. Now, if you remember back to when we selected parents. In this case, parent two is going to be the stepmother. So we'll have her date of birth. We'll have their social security number we'll have an email address for the step parent.

Preferred daytime phone number and the highest level education the day completed. And then similarly, you have the same employment status for them, whether or not they were in the US Armed Forces, and then just kidding worker status, occupation or profession. And then you're also able to see retirement plans again. So that's something that, you know, this parent might also have as well. So you pull that out, and you're able to see our patient or profession. Same principle there, let's say, while they're I don't know how to spell, but heart electricity services, again, just he's all fake data, but I'm just kind of showing you what it might look like when it's completed. so on so forth, and then again, retirement plans, if you have them, and then the current value of those kind of things.

And then finally, even if there's a parent that doesn't live in your primary home, you still are going to need to put in their information, and then potentially the information for a stepfather. In this scenario, if there was that Father, they just did. So you have to enter.

And then they are going to ask how much this parent will contribute financially to student's educational costs for the 2121 2020 academic year. If you don't know exactly, you're gonna need to estimate depending on that amount, and also describe whether there is a agreement specify the contribution, for most of you, that's going to be a no, but in some cases, there may be an explicit since financial contribution, and then you'd say that from there you go. And then what ends up happening is this other parent is required to complete a separate CSS Profile. So if you're the custodial parent, or both your parents live together, then you have to fill the CSS Profile once. But if you have, you know, parents that are divorced or separated, that are going to need to have separate information like filing packs separately, stuff like that, then you're going to need to have another parent fill out an application as well. Um, so you'd have to enter in their profile here, they're going to be asked many of the same questions, but they're going to be asked to fill it out on their own piece on their own profile. From there, Alright, the next thing we're gonna look at is the parents income. And unlike with the FAFSA, right, typically, you're not going to, you're not going to be able to just use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you are going to have to fill these fields out manually. So you're gonna need access to your 1040 form 1040, IRS Tax Return. And then you can kind of just go through from there, all of this is pretty boilerplate questions. You know, depending on your filing status, that's again, defined by law, the type of tax return that you filed this, again, determined by law, and then whether or not you completed your tax return, estimated tax return, or you're not required to file a tax return, that's going to depend on your personal circumstances.

And then they'll ask for which schedules and forms you filed for 2019. So you kind of just got to add that in there. So the first thing we're gonna look at is your 1040 tax turn. And these are basically just copied right over from the 10 form 1040. So you're actually able to just literally, you know, if you can't copy, paste, but you are able to, in fact, like pull the data over. And the only required ones are like the wages and salaries top, you know, line 80, which is your adjusted gross income, and then any federal taxes that you paid. But for all of these, right, you, you know, you do have to fill out all these boxes even does not require the CSS Profile, because what is given here must match your tax return, since later on, you're going to be submitting a copy of your tax return to the colleges as well. And then you have schedule one over here. Let's just say whatever the amount was, was there and you can kind of go forward from there. Again, these are all individual line items on your tax return. And then you have other forms, so on and so forth. Again, you said to fill this out based on your actual tax return. The next question they're going to look at is if you signal filed married jointly, this is going to be for both parents. If you're going to you know if you signal filed single or married filing separately, then you're going to fill out one of these for each of The parents, but in this case, let's say it was 65,000 1000, whatever. And then they're also going to look at your contributions to different things. So the first question is, if you had any contributions to a tax deferred pension or retirement savings plan, this is usually an IRA or a 401k, sometimes some other ones. But this is one sort of category of contributions. Next up, you have a flexible spending account for medical expenses, again, something very similar, you can enter that in there.

So that's that, then they also can look at a flexible savings account for dependent care expenses. Pretty simple as basically for child care expenses, right. And then any money you contribute to a health savings account, for the vast majority of you, the contributions are mainly going to be to the retirement accounts. But there are some folks who obviously are going to have a health savings accounts are flexible spending accounts or stuff like that as well. So you're able to enter that in there, and then you'll push forward. Okay, now, next up, we look at Social Security income and benefits. For the most part, I'm sorry, the other parent income and benefits rather. And the first is Social Security benefits. Usually, you're not going to have these, it's a little bit more of a rare case, usually in some form of like someone being a widow or some sort of disability or something like that. So you might go that any alimony that was received any income from other members of their household. Any housing, food or living allowances received as a member of the military clergy or other profession, money paid, you know, basically gift money gifted to you that you report on your taxes, and any other untaxed income. If you don't have any of those, it becomes pretty simple shot the CSS Profile right. Now, the next thing we'll look at is 2020 expected income. And the reason the College Board is put this in here is to help ensure that you know if you see a big drop in income in 2020, as I'm sure many families out there have just the coronavirus pandemic. You know, that's another thing that you're able to kind of, you know, pull in from people pull in basically from the College Board. And, you know, there, whatever. And then the next question is, was your income as parents affected substantially by the covid 19? pandemic? If the answer is yes, there's a special circumstance section down here, that you're gonna be able to fill out information there as well. And the final question is do there is there an expected income change due to a new job job loss, retirement or benefit changes in 2021? If you don't know the answer that you can always just like know, the last thing we look at is whether your parents received any benefits, such as you know, food stamps, free or reduced lunch, supplemental security income, or TANF, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Medicaid for your health insurance. If you didn't receive any of those, you don't have to check them. If you did receive any of those. You do check them and then you have to share the amounts. So for some of these, you share an amount basically, right? What's your monthly food stamps benefit? What's your monthly Wi Fi benefit? What's your monthly SSI benefit and your monthly TANF benefit? and so on and so forth. All right, the next thing we look at is child support. And basically the question comes down to do the parents in this household, basically, in your household pay child support out of the house? And did they receive Child Support yes or no. And remember, this applies to both parents. So if you're living with your mother and your stepfather and your stepfather had to pay child support, that's something that that you know, the College Board also wants to know. And then you can share what the amount that was paid both in 2019 and 2020. Next up, the College Board asks for your housing information. And for this section, you do actually need the information from your mortgage as well. So first things first is the look at the house address. Pretty straightforward. This is something that we entered in before it will go through from there.

Okay, so now you've entered that data yet your housing address. Next question is, please select the option that best serve your family's housing situation. So if you rent your home or you live with others, you live in housing project by employer, you have to enter that information. As you live in housing Crider, your employer you'd have to put the value of that monthly housing benefit. If you live with others. You have to explain the situation. If you rent your house, there's no information there. If you own your home. Again, there's no information on this section. Now, if you do own your home, though, you then are asked to share your monthly housing payment, your you know purchase here, right so say it's you know, 1000 points or 2014 three He, again, these are all made up numbers. Three, cool run on home 270. And then you have to share the total amount owed on the mortgage for the home, it's different than the total amount owed. You're asking just for the primary mortgage here versus all. So if you've taken out multiple mortgages, then that's something you'd have to put in there. All right, I think ran into an issue there. Looks like something was just logged out by accident. So just give us one second. And we'll get this back up and running for all of you. So we'll see I'm not sure what was happening there. Okay, great. So there was I guess there was just an issue with the CSS Profile. One thing to keep in mind is the CSS Profile. Weirdly, despite being for a private institution is actually more buggy and kind of broken than the college to start them the FAFSA is just kind of keep that in mind as you go through this process.

So after you enter the housing information, the next question will be looking at your assets. And remember, you're going to be finding the alley value for the asset. As of today, it's entirely about the parents assets here. So the first question is, do you have any assets that are investments or assets that they own that are held in your children? As soon as you put yes or no, it's most pretty most pretty common case. The first question is, they're gonna look at your cash and your savings and your check ins and your deposit accounts. And so this is where you know, any of your checking or savings accounts, that's really where you enter that data. And then the current value market value of your other investments. Now in this other investments category, you want to exclude the value of your 401k, or your Basically, any of your tax protected amounts. Um, so you just need to share the current market value of your investments, excluding your 401k or your IRA or any of the protected accounts. So just enter that in there. Let's just say it was whatever the number is right? Then they're also going to look at any other real estate that you own. So if you own a home beside your primary home, you rent out real estate to other stuff like that. All that gets taken into account, if you have a vacation home property, you are expected to leverage that asset to help pay for your, your college education. So you enter that in there. And then you basically have to enter details about the other property, so is free time.

And so you have to enter details that are specific to each type of thing that you're doing. So in this case, since you're renting the property out to others, you have to answer details about how and sort of why you rent and the ways in which you do that.

The next thing we look at is whether you have a business that is a primary income source, or you have a business that you own on the side, or you own a farm or part of a farm. So we'll just kind of look at both of those. So look at the number of businesses he own. And then number of farms. For both the business and the form, you have to add a ton of details. So in the case of the business, for example, right? You enter the name of the business, the type of business, the primary product or services that that are provided by the business, the name of the parent that owns a business, the percentage ownership, right? So if you only have partial ownership in a business, you still have to put in that detail as well. other family members that own it, have ownership, names and percentages, so on and so forth. date the business was started. Whether or not the business owns more than hundred full time employees, yes or no? Which form is income for the business reported. 1040. See, you know, again, these are all different options. They're only relevant to you if you're a business owner, but you do have to fill all these outs and then they'll do the same thing of the farm.

Again, same principle, you'll unfortunate thing is I can't progress in the document until I fill out all these sections. So it is quite annoying to have to fill all this out, I understand. But you are required to do that. Now the only other thing he did that I do want to say is that your 529 plan is considered an investment as well. So you need to add that up as part of the sum of your investment value. The 540 9% from the college's perspective, is just another parent asset, there's no difference in how it's treated relative to how other assets are treated.

Last thing is whether or not you have any expenses as parents such as medical or dental expenses that are not covered by insurance, alimony, repayment of student or college loan debt and 2020, repayment of student or college loan in 2019. So if you do have these situations, you'll get sort of shown an additional form where you have to enter in those details. So for example, you have to enter the amount of medical expenses or details in the amount of medical expenses or details for 2019 2020. Same for the loans in 2019 and 2020, including the loan balances. Okay, now, so this is the household introduction, one who's in the household as far as the student and the parent, then they're gonna ask about your siblings. So basically, this is anyone else who's a dependent in the same household that you live in. So this case, say you have one sibling, it's very mean.

And then you have sibling, grandparent step, siblings. So basically, anyone else that lives in your household is going to get covered under this section. And then the grade year of your sibling, if you have them grade your your sibling, if you have them, whether they attend a private school, whether or not the private school, and then so on and so forth. If they are attending a private school, same principle around the name of the school, total cost of attendance of that private school, total expenses paid by the parents out of pocket. And then what one question was tuition out of the overall expenses.

Now, the next step is to look at the student income and student assets. Um, so for the student income side, you're going to enter very similar information, right. So if you were to pick a tax return, you have to do all those things. For the sake of time, I'm just going to skip over this and say that the main thing you want to keep in mind is that in most cases, as students, you shouldn't be filing tax returns unless you really have to. So you enter that data in there. And then you put forward expected earnings for summer 2021. During the school year, other tax income during school year unpacks, income and benefits again, during the school year. This is something that you're looking at across each of these categories to enter the students data. Same with student resources. And then this is an important fields. So basically, what you're trying to do here is how much do these different types of sources plan to give to a student to pay for college. So say that as parents you're willing to contribute 10,000 then scholarships and grants is what you're mainly looking for employer any benefit there, and then other relatives that are helping out other than the parents. final piece is going to look at student assets. Now the thing to keep in mind with student assets is in general, student assets are assessed at a much higher rate than parents assets. There's no published formula. But our data has historically shown that parent assets are usually hit between five and 6% with CSS Profile, where our student assets are again, hit at that 20% plus rate that exists on the FAFSA. So definitely, if you have any money in the students name, it makes sense to move it over to the parents name, a joint student parent account is fine, just enter that data as part of the parents account. But the money has to be moved into a parent account as soon as possible in order to enable success there. Then the next thing you look at is whether john has the student has any assets, usually none of these are going to be true. Maybe a trust is a somewhat common one, cash and savings accounts, the value of all trust that you're a beneficiary of. And so this is really, really important. And then they also want to know if any of the trust is available. And so in a lot of cases there may not be it may only be available when you're 18 so on and so forth. And then it's also the type of trust that exists. So again, very straightforward. If you as you know, real estate, more power to you. You'd have to fill these out. Same with if you own a business reform. The questions are the same as for the parents, so I'm just going to skip over these. Okay, finally, we come to special circumstances. And it's very important that you answer these as truthfully as possible. And you provide as much information here as possible. So if you've had changes, right, you're basically given up to 2000 characters worth of information that you can provide across all these different issues. So if you've got multiple issues, I would definitely try to cover them as factually as possible. Whereas if you've got, you know, just one or two of these issues, then you're able to kind of jump in and provide a little bit more context around each of the issues that you're having. So this is pretty straightforward, you do want to try and write it in a paragraph format, you want to write as clearly and concisely as possible, because financial aid officers do, in fact, use this very heavily. Alright, and then after you finish this special circumstance section, then you're able to, you're able to move forward and submit your application. Now, keep in mind that if you are in the situation where you have a noncustodial parent sitting somewhere else, they're also going to have to submit this application. But once they do that, you'll basically be good to go. Alright, folks, so with that, that's going to go ahead and wrap things up for tonight's events. In terms of the main presentation, however, we do have time for some q&a. So if you have any questions for me, please feel free to start entering them into the chat. I have seen a few questions already pop up. But we'll go ahead and kind of layer those in as well. So I'm gonna give folks a minute or two to understand and to answer some questions in the chat. And then we'll go ahead and get started.

All right, folks. And with that, we're going to go ahead and move into the q&a portion of today's event. Okay, so first things first, we have a few questions that have come in from the audience, I would time for about 10 minutes or the questions. First question is, where is the part where you have to send CSS profiles need to pay 15 or $20 for it? And that's going to be the part at which you submit the CSS Profile, pretty straightforward. Next question is, why do some private universities use both the FAFSA and the CSS Profile? Well, the reason is that they use the CSS Profile for their own internal institutional aid. But any federal money that you would receive, including federal student loans is still calculated based on the FAFSA. So that's why they look at both the FAFSA and the CSS Profile. Next question, do parents have to disclose their 401k pounds? Typically you do. Next question. Our 529 savings plans considered an investment Yes, they are considered eight parent investment. Next question, if both parents are partners in the business and filed jointly, do I put income under one parent or split the income 5050 under parent one and parent two? Since you're married filing jointly, just put it under a parent one. It's not too complicated. It honestly depends on how you filed your taxes. Next question is if you have another child who will be doing their masters in same time, is this is there a way for this to be taken into account? Yes, that was that family section we talked about the other dependence that the parents have. Next question siblings have to sibling is in the last year of the of college now. So next year, I will only be paying for my second son. In the application. Should we mentioned sibling expense for this year or for next year? I would mention sibling expense for this year as opposed to for next year.

Next question, for early decision, should the seasons profile be filled out before the application deadline? Um, no, I mean, you need to make sure it's filled out in time to be submitted to the colleges. But there's nothing too too crazy about filling it out a little bit later. Like it's not the end of the world if you end up filling it out a little bit further down the line.

All right. Next question here is I don't see the pay fee section. Is it somewhere? Yeah, it's at the very end where we looked at the submission.

For 2020 info, do we just give an estimate? Yes, that is correct. on the FAFSA, when I hit free lunch, it asked me if I wanted to skip questions, the financial questions. Well, the CSS Profile does this to know as you can see, the CSS Profile is a little bit less responsive, and up to date relative to the FAFSA. For the value of assets, do you look at market value or sale comparison value? Honestly, it's kind of up to you as long as you've documentation for both I would typically use sale comparison value, honestly. Next question, will the CSS Profile generate an estimated EFC? Similar to FAFSA, thank you. So it does generate an EFC. But unfortunately, you as the family are not able to see that. Now, if you do want to get a sense of what your CSS Profile estimated EFC does look like. That's definitely something you can use actually at CollegeVine. We have a tool that has actually built out a simulator and CSS Profile. But the actual official CSS Profile will not give you a estimate of your EFC. Is there an advantage to only submitting the FAFSA? Not really it depends on the college. Right? So obviously, if a college only requires a FAFSA, you don't get any benefit for submitting CSS Profile, and vice versa.

Alright. Give me a second.

Sorry about that. Okay. Pulling up some more questions for all of you now.

It's time for another question. Is it beneficial to submit the CSS Profile as early as possible or can wait until the deadline? I usually recommend trying to submit it earlier than the deadline -- as early as possible is a bit of a stretch but if you can submit it, as you know, with a few weeks or even a few months before the deadline that's always beneficial.

As US citizens living abroad, we don't have a house in the US. Do we still have to put in housing info? Yes, you do.

Are stock options considered as an asset since it's before tax will in will be shown next year next year's W2 if I exercise it now? Thanks. So stock options are not typically only your stocks itself, and then the income will just be reflected on your, your form in future years.

All right. Next up. Typically will the EFC be more after the FAFSA or less after the than the FAFSA after we complete the CSS Profile? The CSS profiles EFC is going to be higher than the FAFSA's EFC usually.


All right, next question.


Do we need to enter 529 information? We covered that

We are US citizens living in Singapore, can I use a CSS Profile for my daughter? Yes, you can.

Next question: Are you filling out the 2021-2022 or 2020-2021 CSS Profile? The 2021-2022. Okay. All right. Next question here is:

"Where do we find the house sale comparison value?" If typically, you can use Zillow or something similar like that.

Next question. So you can submit your comment on a deadline but do CSS later? Or do you have to do this with a deadline? It varies from school to school, sometimes the college will require you to submit the CSS Profile or the FAFSA on the same day. In other cases, they'll give you more leeway. So it just depends on how your school requires you to fill out the FAFSA or the CSS or doesn't.




That's, that. Um, how do you put more colleges once you've submitted the profile? Typically, you're going to submit it to the colleges and your profile is saved. Right? That's what's called a profile. So you can always go back in and add more colleges.

All right, and it looks like those were all the questions that we had for today's stream. So if you have any questions, you know, definitely thank you again for attending today's event. If any questions in the future, please stay tuned for future live streams from CollegeVine about financial aid. Thank you, everyone, and have a great evening.

Your host

Undergrad College: University of Chicago

Major: Economics

Work Experience: As a Co-Founder of CollegeVine, I lead the data science and admissions curriculum teams. I have worked with thousands of students and families over the course of 8 years. I have also spent time as a senior analyst in aviation operations, strategy, and marketing.


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