Getting Help with the FAFSA and CSS Profile


If you need assistance completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the CSS Profile – or wondering where to start – you’ll find helpful resources below!

If your child will be in college for the 2019-2020 school year, you can file the FAFSA and the CSS Profile now. The official release date for both financial aid applications was Oct. 1, 2018.

FAFSA Resources

FAFSA on the Web.

This is the official website to complete the FAFSA.

It’s highly recommended that parents complete the FAFSA online, but here is the  2019-2020 FAFSA in PDF form.

The paper FAFSA contains eight pages of questions and two pages of explanations.

Trending FAFSA questions.

The U.S. Department of Educations maintains a list of trending FAQs about the FAFSA. See what questions other parents are asking and you might discover what you need here.

FAFSA Contacts.

Questions about the FAFSA? Here is how to get answers:

FAFSA hotline: (800) 433-3243.

Email contact:

When parents are working on the FAFSA online, they can click a live help button for assistance.

FAFSA on the Web Worksheet.

This FAFSA worksheet for the 2019-2020 school year provides a preview of FAFSA questions.

FAFSA YouTube Videos.

FAFSA videos from the U.S. Department of Education include a FAFSA overview and how to complete the FAFSA.

Financial Aid Toolkit.

This federal website provides student aid information for counselors, nonprofits and college consultants. Families can take advantage of the materials.

Counselors and Mentors Handbook on Federal Student Aid.

On the toolkit website, you’ll also see a guide that provides a great deal of background on the federal financial aid system and FAFSA.

Khan Academy Video: FAFSA Walkthrough

 This step-by-step video guide, narrated by the financial aid director at Stanford University, explains how to complete the FAFS

National Association for Student Financial

This website for financial aid professionals includes a section entitled, Students, Parents & Counselors. You’ll find information about financial aid on this site, including links to state aid programs in the 50 states.

CSS Profile

CSS Profile Website

You will fill out the Profile on this website.

You will also find links to information about this financial aid application that roughly 200 colleges and universities (nearly all private) use to determine eligibility for their own institutional financial aid.

If you’re wondering if you even need to file the Profile, here is the list of colleges and universities that use the PROFILE.

In addition, the website contains contact support links if you have questions about the Profile:

Hotline for families:  (844) 202-0524

CSS Profile Video Tutorial

This is a helpful step-by-step tour on how to complete the PROFILE. The tutorial, provided by the nonprofit Khan Academy, is narrated by Stanford University’s financial aid director.

Unlike the FAFSA, the Profile doesn’t provide a standard downloadable application to families.

Here’s why:  each application is personalized based on the information the family provides when completing the registration portion of the Profile.

Once you have provided basic information in the registration section, including what colleges your child will be applying to, the Profile will create a Customized Pre-Application Worksheet as a PDF that you can download. One reason why the worksheet and the application are personalized for each person is because each college can require the family to answer different supplemental questions.

Once you open up the Profile, you will see a red button entitled, Click here before you begin. When you click on this link, it will bring up another page with lots of detailed instructions on how to complete the Profile.



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