College Financial Aid

Higher education can be a considerable expense and burden on students and families. Acknowledging this issue, the federal government as well as individual educational institutions have devised a method of helping students afford higher education.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is the required application form used to provide access to federal and state aid. FAFSA is also used by private institutions and often in conjunction with additional application requirements to be considered for their unique financial aid conduits.

The Marian Counseling Department is available to aid and assist in this important step. Students and parents are ultimately responsible for completing tasks regarding financial aid.

To apply for federal student aid, complete the FAFSA application. The completed FAFSA application will provide access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school. The application becomes available each year in early January and should be completed as soon as possible. Deadlines are firm and should be noted.

Before beginning the FAFSA application:

  • Obtain a PIN for student and parent at
  • Gather current tax and financial Information.
  • If the student’s target institution(s) require(s) the FAFSA before the current tax information is available, the previous year’s tax figures can be submitted in the initial application. The new information must be submitted as soon as it becomes available and is required before awards will be announced.
  • Contact target school(s) to see if any additional forms are required.


CSS Profile - College Board
The CSS Profile is a supplemental financial aid application, in addition to the FAFSA application, that is required by some colleges and scholarship organizations. Examples are Notre Dame, St. Mary’s and the Scholarship Foundation of St. Joseph County. The CSS Profile is governed by the College Board and provides more detailed financial information and does not take the place of the FAFSA.

The CSS Profile requires a fee. Students are responsible for knowing if their target institution(s) require(s) a completed CSS.

CSS Profile Application - College Board