CSS profile submission also opens on October 1st at this website. Check your school to see if they are one of the schools that require a profile submission for financial aid using this list. The CSS profile provides a more in-depth look at finances over the course of the past two years. The additional information on the CSS profile is meant to help aid officers better understand your family’s ability to pay for college, not hurt your child’s aid eligibility. It is analyzed by each institution to determine eligibility for institutional aid. According to my research, I have not found a time where it is required for students just applying for merit aid (whereas the FAFSA is often required). The cost to complete the CSS profile is $9 for the application fee and $16 for each school you have the profile sent to.