College Board Financial Aid—The Complete Guide

Financial Aid Appeal Letters College Board Financial Aid—The Complete Guide

College Board Financial Aid—When and How To Use It

Many prospective students need financial support to attend college. To be considered for different kinds of federal, state, and college-specific types of financial aid, they have to meet specific standards.

The College Board is a non-profit organization that helps students determine their eligibility for certain non-federal types of financial aid. If you want to know more about College Board financial aid, DoNotPay is at your disposal. We will give you all the necessary information and help you get an appropriate financial award for any college you wish to attend!

How Does Applying for Financial Aid With College Board Work?

The College Board enables students to apply for non-federal financial aid programs (such as scholarships and specific institutional awards) via their CSS Profile application. Completing the CSS Profile (as a part of financial aid request) is required by more than 200 undergraduate institutions, typically private colleges and universities with large fundings.


Some of these institutions are:

Students who want to apply for federal financial aid typically have to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. It determines the student’s eligibility based on specific financial details. The main difference between this and CSS Profile application is that the latter:

  1. Costs money (FAFSA is free)
  2. Is more detailed
  3. Allows institutions who require it to:
    1. Ask questions not available on FAFSA
    2. Customize the questions

While completing a CSS Profile takes more time, it can result in more financial aid.

How To Complete a College Board CSS Financial Aid Profile

To be considered for financial aid in schools that require the CSS Profile, you have to complete the form carefully. Follow the guide provided in the table below:

Steps Explanation
Create a College Board account The first step in completing the CSS profile is to visit the College Board’s website and create an account. If a student has already taken their SAT, they can sign in to the account created then
Collect the required documentation Students completing the CSS Profile are required to gather many of the same documents necessary for FAFSA. Some of the crucial ones include tax information from two years prior to the year the student plans to attend college (e.g., tax return documents from 2019 are necessary for the 2021-2022 application)
Choose colleges The application enables students to specify which colleges should get their CSS Profile
Fill out the application Many of the starting questions on the form require the same information as FAFSA, including:

  • Student’s address
  • Parent’s age
  • Info on other siblings attending college

In continuation, the student will get to indicate the existence of additional hardships (not apparent from their tax forms).

Students should bear in mind that they can always appeal the university’s decision (if rewarded with an insufficient amount) and ask for a higher award

Submit the application It is necessary to pay a fee or ask for a waiver before the CSS profile is sent to colleges
Update the information Students can return to their profile after submission to:

  • Check if they need to perform extra activities
  • Add more colleges that should potentially receive their CSS profile (they will have to pay for adding each school to the profile)

My First-Choice College Has Refused To Award Me Financial Aid! What Should I Do?

A college refusing to award you financial aid or granting you an insufficient amount is a common occurrence. Luckily, all you have to do is draw up a compelling appeal letter, and the college’s Financial Aid office may reconsider their decision.

If you plan to write the appeal letter yourself, you need to be:

  • Official—make sure to address the letter appropriately
  • Polite—thank the Financial Aid office for taking you into consideration
  • Specific—state clear reasons why you need more financial support and specify the amount you wish to receive
  • Thorough—include all documentation supporting your claim, as well as higher offers from other colleges (if you have any)

If you don’t feel confident writing the letter yourself and risk getting rejected, we offer an easier solution. Subscribe to DoNotPay and let us generate a persuasive appeal letter for you!

Get Substantial Financial Aid With DoNotPay

Most eligible students in need of financial aid apply for grants (which are non-repayable). DoNotPay has specialized in creating appeal letters for grants that tick all the boxes!

Our app will create an official, personalized letter in mere minutes if you:

  1. Sign up for DoNotPay
  2. Click on our Appeal for More Financial Aid tool
  3. Answer questions detailing your need for more financial aid

We will not only draw up but also send the letter on your behalf. If you applied for financial aid from multiple colleges, you are in for a treat! DoNotPay allows you to use the product to send appeal letters to all of them—at no additional charge!

Use our knowledge base to find out how many years you need to apply for financial aid, what constitutes financial aid for graduate school, and what the deadlines for applying are.

If you want to know what the process looks like for the most popular U.S. colleges, consult the table below:

University of California San Diego Financial Aid Rutgers University Financial Aid Stanford University Financial Aid
New York University Financial Aid University of California, Los Angeles Financial Aid University of California, Davis Financial Aid
Cornell University Financial Aid Princeton University Financial Aid University of California, Santa Cruz Financial Aid
MIT Financial Aid University of California, Berkeley Financial Aid Columbia University Financial Aid
Harvard University Financial Aid Purdue University Financial Aid Yale University Financial Aid

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