The CSS Profile is only required by a limited number of colleges to determine financial aid packages. You may file the profile as early as October 1st. However, you should file no later than two weeks before the EARLIEST priority filing date specified by your colleges or programs.
It is primarily designed to give private member institutions of the College Board a closer look into the finances of a student and family. It is much more detailed than the FAFSA and might require a consultation with your financial aid advisor.
You file the PROFILE online at www.collegeboard.org by selecting “CSS/PROFILE” under “Pay for College.” A list of colleges that accept the CSS Profile can be found on the College Board website.