How to fill CSS Profile?
| Author — Maksat, NYU Abu Dhabi.
The guide is applicable for all CIS students.
If you are considering any financial aid, you must fill CSS Profile immediately after you submit Commonapp. Not FAFSA, just CSS.
First of all, ask your parent/parents, if employed, to get a W-2 Form for the current year, for example, from Jan 2020 to December 2020. Parent's W-2 Form must show names of parents, currency (must be in tenge (KZ) or your country's currency), period, monthly income, taxes from the income (pension or/and insurance), and figures (company) who issued it.
Personally, I reported the W-2 Form of my father, since my mother is currently unemployed.
Second, go to the College Board's CSS Profile website and register your page.
In the visa type option, you can write None or F-1 as a person applying to a student visa.
Be careful with currency that you will use to fill CSS Profile — just write Kazakhstani tenge or your country's currency. Imagine, you unintentionally signed as US dollar and filled all profile in tenge — your pitty 50 000 tenge per month will be converted to $50 000 per month, which is a really THICC.
In College Details, you must provide the name of the college — some colleges send to your email an ID name to make the process smooth as NYU and Northwestern do.
Then I filled the form about my father, who is employed and has a pension. In Kazakhstan, the retirement plan is a saving that is taken from monthly income, usually 10%. For example, I earned 2 000 000 tenge, then my pension is 200 000 tenge as pension.
Do not worry about above-mentioned retirement plans like IRA, 401k, Employer-Sponsored retirement plan, etc. In Kazakhstan things are much easier than in Europe or the US.
Then I filled the form about my mother, who is currently unemployed, and reported that she is a housewife since December 2008.
Because of unemployment, she does not have any retirement plan — I reported as 0.
The most confusing part is Parent Tax Return Status. Once you click 'Yes', there will appear numerous American tax forms and nothing that relates to the Kazakhstani system. Therefore, just click 'Other non-US tax return'. Then, you are required to complete Parent Non-US Tax Return, where you just repeat the numbers — annual incomes of your parents and amount of money taken as taxes on insurance (if you do not have one, just plug zero).
- Do not click "Not filled, and not required to file" as you are not living in Beliz or Caribbean islands, evading taxes in offshores.
Total compensation from employer means Dad's and Mom's untaxed salaries combined. Disregard the zero I placed there - it is a mistake. So if your Parent 1 makes $10 000 a year and Parent 2 makes $9000 a year, combined the total compensation from employer is $19 000.
Since only my father is employed, there is no income from other family members — 0. Also, my family is not under a socially-vulnerable group and we do not receive money from the government.
I do not remember whether I received any money from Child support program, so I plugged 0.
Usually, we pay 30 000 tenge per month for utilities as light, water, gas, etc. Since we did not owe money from someone or bank, I reported as 0. Unfortunately, we have neither investments in bitcoins nor villas in Batumi nor pictures of Van Gogh, so I reported 'NO' in all points. Like ordinary people, we have some saving, which I reported in Parent Asset Details.
Unfornutaly, we do not have a business or farm.
Annually, we spend some money on utilities, food, etc. I did not dig into the details, so I have taken approximations. Then, you report other family members that live in your house — siblings or a grandmother.
Last year, I earned some amount of money and proudly reported my income. If you do not taxes, click "Not filled, and not required to file, a tax return." I am not goning to work in the summer of 2022, so I reported zeros in My Expected Incomes. I asked my parents how much money they are ready to pay for my education. They said, maximum 2 mln tenge — okay, I reported 2 mln tenge.
Unfortunately, I do not have a sugar daddy or sponsors that will cover my expenditures, so I rely only on scholarship or grant from my college. Also, I do not have a pension or bitcoins, so I checked nothing in Student Asset Types and Student Real Estate. For sure I've got some cash in my Kaspi deposit, so I proudly reported them.