Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) and CSS Profile Instructions

Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) and CSS Profile Instructions

Financial aid includes all types of money, loans, and work-study programs offered to a student to help pay college tuition costs and living expenses. 
The FAFSA and TAP financial aid applications go live each school year, on October 1st. Every college/institution has a different deadline for when they want the FAFSA and TAP completed by. You would need to look up these deadlines once you make your college list. 

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): www.fafsa.ed.gov

New York State's Tuition Assistance Program (TAP): www.tapweb.org

Financial aid information: www.finaid.org 

Student loan information: www.wiredscholar.com

NYS Higher Education Service Corp: www.hesc.org

Government aid resource: studentaid.ed.gov

Information about a variety of loan programs: bigfuture.collegeboard.org 


Thinking about taking out a student loan? Before you take that step, make sure you are well informed about how taking out a student loan can impact you in the long run. Check out the resources at TheSimpleDollar.com, a website devoted to helping people make more informed financial decisions. They have a number of resources that can provide you and your family in depth knowledge about student loans, as well as strategies to help manage debt. 



Here you will find detailed instructions on how to complete the FAFSA and the CSS Profile (an additional financial aid application). Note that only some private schools require the CSS Profile. 

How to complete FAFSA and TAP: https://www.hesc.ny.gov/pay-for-college/apply-for-financial-aid/apply-for-aid-start-here.html

How to complete CSS Profile: https://cssprofile.collegeboard.org/pdf/css-profile-student-guide.pdf

List of schools that require CSS Profile: https://profile.collegeboard.org/profile/ppi/participatingInstitutions.aspx


To complete these applications, you will need the following documents (for the graduating class of 2019):

  • W-2 Forms and other records of money earned for the prior year
  • Federal Income Tax Return from 2017 (MUST be from 2 years prior)* - IRS Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, foreign tax return, or tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia or Palau
  • Untaxed income records* - Social Security, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, welfare, or veterans benefits records
  • Records of savings, stocks, bonds, trusts, and other investments
  • Current bank statements
  • Current mortgage information
  • Your most recent business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond, and other investment records