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Old 01-21-2012, 07:36 PM
 
1,247 posts, read 3,381,142 times
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Default Just filled out the CSS Profile for my son who will be entering college this fall

Wow, I fully expected and was prepared for the financial questions. No problem at all with that. Have to admit, I was a bit surprised that one of the colleges wanted to know how many cars we had as well as the year, make/ model, year of purchase and purchase price!!!! They didn't ask if the cars were financed or not. Thankfully our cars are not. They also asked if any of the cars belonged to the student.

Submitted data to five different schools, and it was one out of the five that wanted to know about the cars. FYI - for all of the schools he has applied to, tuition, room and board is $50K and up. I guess they figure if they're investing in your child financially, via scholarships or school specific grants, they want to see where your money goes.

Overall this has been a very exciting time. I can't wait to see where my son ends up for college. He has worked hard throughout his school years and has done very well. I liken it to being pregnant. I couldn't wait to "meet the baby". Now I can't wait to see where the baby (man) will be going to school! Wherever he is will be wonderful I'm sure.
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:17 AM
 
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I get why they ask about cars, etc. A lot of people will hold off buying cars until right before college financial aid applications so they don't have as much money in their savings accounts, along with other major purchases, etc.

We have until next year to get moving on this, and then everything is times 2 as we have twins going off to college then.

Good luck on the acceptances. Has he applied to any "cheep" schools just in case??
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:28 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA... where the nest is now empty!
10,632 posts, read 12,084,729 times
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Oh, I so disliked the CSS questionnaire! Seems like they asked for everything except your shoe size.
We only had to do it as DD applied (and went) to college in NY.... other states just took the FAFSA.
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Has he applied to any "cheep" schools just in case??
Nope!

Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
I get why they ask about cars, etc. A lot of people will hold off buying cars until right before college financial aid applications so they don't have as much money in their savings accounts, along with other major purchases, etc.
I see why folks would do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
Oh, I so disliked the CSS questionnaire! Seems like they asked for everything except your shoe size.
Oh, I know!! I felt very exposed! And I quote, "How much do you PLAN on making in 2012?" they asked. Well seeing as though we are 20 days into 2012...
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:06 PM
 
Location: S.W.PA
1,287 posts, read 1,327,001 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhousegirl View Post
Wow, I fully expected and was prepared for the financial questions. No problem at all with that. Have to admit, I was a bit surprised that one of the colleges wanted to know how many cars we had as well as the year, make/ model, year of purchase and purchase price!!!! They didn't ask if the cars were financed or not. Thankfully our cars are not. They also asked if any of the cars belonged to the student.

Submitted data to five different schools, and it was one out of the five that wanted to know about the cars. FYI - for all of the schools he has applied to, tuition, room and board is $50K and up. I guess they figure if they're investing in your child financially, via scholarships or school specific grants, they want to see where your money goes.

Overall this has been a very exciting time. I can't wait to see where my son ends up for college. He has worked hard throughout his school years and has done very well. I liken it to being pregnant. I couldn't wait to "meet the baby". Now I can't wait to see where the baby (man) will be going to school! Wherever he is will be wonderful I'm sure.
How does the CSS relate to the FAFSA? Is it the next step?
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:18 PM
 
1,077 posts, read 945,476 times
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Interesting... it does seem a bit much to ask, but makes sense to me.

When I grew up, my parents saved like crazy and none of the kids got cars until we were long done with college and could afford them ourselves. It still shocks me to see parents buying kids cars at the age of 16, but it's their money.

But what was never fair to us was the financial aid applications when my parents filled them out. My parents always only had one car, one home, no fancy stuff..... but everything in savings that was eligible to go to college payments. My good friend from school had parents with a good accountant.... they had a vacation home (not asked about on the financial aid forms), multiple cars (including for the teenagers) and many luxury items. They had many allowed ways to "hide" their money, and my friend bragged about getting more financial aid to college then we did. So I'm glad to hear that financial aid applications are requiring more transparency.

It does sound like a nightmare having to fill them out though.

I learned early on that when you are rich and can afford good accountants/lawyers etc.. it certainly helps you stay rich. And pay a 15% tax rate.
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Minnesota, USA
7,382 posts, read 7,491,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo6 View Post
How does the CSS relate to the FAFSA? Is it the next step?
The CSS/PROFILE is used in place of the FAFSA at some institutions, particularly elite ones if I remember correctly.
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:26 PM
 
1,247 posts, read 3,381,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo6 View Post
How does the CSS relate to the FAFSA? Is it the next step?
Well, the FAFSA for one thing is FREE!!! The CSS costs $9 bucks for the "registration", and then $16 bucks per school thereafter. You don't necessarily have to do both forms. It is not considered the next step.

Each college has their own means of determining you aid/scholarship, etc, and some of the private colleges ask you to do the CSS in addition to the FAFSA. The CSS asks many more financial questions. More detailed than the FAFSA.

Example: My son has applied to six schools. Out of the six, they all required the CSS in addition to the FAFSA. One of the schools had their own financial aid form which asks questions about your investments, housing, etc. which could be used instead of the CSS. Yay!! Another one of the six schools required the FAFSA, The CSS, AND their own financial aid form, and of course they ALL want copies of your signed income taxes, along with ALL attachments!! Whew!!
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:54 PM
 
10,146 posts, read 15,861,325 times
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If you are filling out the CSS profile, you are also filling out the FAFSA. It's not a state thing, it's a private institution thing. Many of the colleges that our kids applied to, like oldhousegirl, also had a supplemental financial aid form. By the time #3 was ready for college, my husband was a pro at the forms. He's been filling them out since 2002, when our first applied to college! Even though one may think they don't qualify for financial aid, they are good to fill out. If circumstances change and you need aid, your paperwork is already in the pipeline.

As you can see, https://profileonline.collegeboard.c...ionServlet.srv LOTS of colleges take the CSS Profile.

I've always thought of the college search akin to house shopping. You look, it's exciting, the owners love you and want you to buy the house. You make an offer and then you wait to see if they will accept it. You pay lots of money and then you move in! Sometimes you're happy and sometimes you're not.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:15 AM
 
Location: NC
4,236 posts, read 2,351,150 times
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Hopefully it isn't being financed with student loans
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