College award letters are already fairly confusing. What's worse is that they can often be…
“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt (2002)
I procrastinate. I fight the tendency every day of my life, especially when the job to be done sparks anxiety. Suddenly it’s October. Early admissions to colleges ramp up. Approximately 400 universities, colleges and scholarship programs require the CSS (College Scholarship Service) Profile. And, the bad news is that the Profile is twice as long as the FAFSA. The good news? By the time (January 1st) the FAFSA can be submitted students and parents will be more than ready.
CSS Profiles Due Now
Students began filing the CSS Profile October 1st. On October 21st, CSS Profiles are submitted to the participating schools and scholarship programs. Students should submit their Profile two weeks before the Early Admission or Priority Date deadlines of each school to which they intend to apply. For example: the University of Notre Dame Early Action and Northwestern Universities Early Admission deadlines are November 1st. Others have the same deadlines or November 15 and later.
How to Get It Done
If you are procrastinating let me allay your fears and anxiety. The website bigfuture.collegeboard.org provides a great presentation for getting started. The first step, registration, is very simple but must be completed in one sitting. That is because once you register, the profile will provide an individualized worksheet based on your information to assist you with the rest of the application. Like the FAFSA, you can start the actual application and return to it to continue to completion or make changes. There are several explanations for areas such as custodial and non-custodial parents, an area of difficulty on both the FAFSA and the CSS Profile. Each question offers help assistance as well. The website offers a list of everything you will need to prepare your CSS Profile.
More Hot Tips
A couple other hot tips: Like the FAFSA, you need to be very careful to select the correct aid year. You will need your prior year taxes and can estimate your 2014 taxes. Never leave an answer blank. If a question is not applicable respond with a zero. Unlike the FAFSA, there are fees for this application and fees for each college to which you submit, but these will be waived if you meet certain household size and income criteria.
My hope is that you are now confident, energized and excited about completing your CSS Profile. Take the first step. Visit collegeboard.org and gather your materials. Jump in, register and start your CSS Profile. Rather than listening to the whooshing noise of missed deadlines, enjoy the celebratory sounds of success generated by a great application package.
So, back to procrastination. I have actually gotten much better over the years about embracing the Nike phrase, “Just Do It!” My son texted this morning and asked if I’d like to have his boys over for their first ever sleepover. If I had procrastinated about this blog and several other to-do’s, I would not have been able to enjoy every single moment with them unfettered by what I’d left undone. Stay tuned…FAFSA.
Still need help getting your CSS or FAFSA completed? Contact us. We can help make sure your applications are completed on time and correct.