College Fundamentals: Financial Aid 101

College Fundamentals: Financial Aid 101

college debt
(Image: File)

Compared with completing the FAFSA, filling out the CSS Profile is more complex–it asks questions that are specific to the institution and takes longer to complete. However, some private colleges and universities have billions of dollars in financial aid to distribute, making it worth the time and effort to fill out. Set aside a few hours to do it. Afterwards, reward yourself.

Once you submit a CSS Profile application, you will receive an acknowledgement of payment, which will provide further application information and the chance to update your CSS Profile.

In the first year that you apply for financial aid you may receive multiple award letters from colleges. It will be up to you to compare them and decide which works best for you. Also, be aware that you will need to apply for financial aid each year, since awards are distributed on a yearly basis only and can change every year.

Chelsea L. Dixon, M.S., M.A.T., is founder and CEO of GamePhox Unlimited L.L.C.  A motivational speaker who has lectured at various high schools, colleges, professional youth sports foundations, and youth groups, Dixon is the author of Bridging the Gap: A Simple Guide to College. She earned a B.A. in sociology from Boston College, an M.A.T. in secondary education from Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey), and an M.S. in sports management from the University of Massachusetts — Amherst. Learn more about her at or