Family Status




The CSS Profile  and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) have similar status options.  Be sure to accurately identify the family’s status on both applications, as it will determine whose financial information the applicant must list on the FAFSA and CSS Profile. Failure to select the correct family status could delay the processing of your financial aid application.

For applicants whose parents are separated or divorced, the parent with whom the applicant lives or spends the most time is referred to as the custodial parent.  The custodial parent is required to complete both the FAFSA and the CSS Profile. The non-custodial parent is required to complete a separate CSS Profile application.  The custodial parent’s CSS Profile application must be submitted before the non-custodial’s.

If a student no longer communicates with the non-custodial parent, a Third-Party Letter may be submitted via the financial aid application portal in place of the non-custodial parent’s Profile.  This document should be on official stationary and come from an objective third party who understands and can confirm the student’s unique situation in a professional capacity. Some examples of an acceptable third party include, but are not limited to: a high school guidance counselor, therapist, clergy person, principal, doctor, teacher, or lawyer.

We realize that each family’s situation is unique. Please do not hesitate to contact our office with questions regarding the completion of the CSS Profile – or any other inquiries or concerns. We are open from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM (EST).