Start the Step-by-Step FAFSA Tutorial for Completing the 2015-2016 Free Application for Federal Student Aid
This step-by-step guide provides a tutorial overview of completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is based on the bestselling book, Filing the FAFSA.
Using a Federal Student Aid PIN to Sign the FAFSA
The Federal Student Aid (FSA) PIN is a 4-digit personal identification number used to sign the FAFSA and loan promissory notes electronically. It can also be used to access U.S. Department of Education resources, such as the National Student Loan Data System. The student and parent must each have their own PIN.
Using a FSA ID to Sign the FAFSA
IRS Data Retrieval Tool
The Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID, which is replacing the FSA PIN in Spring 2015, is used to electronically sign college financial aid applications and student loan promissory notes. It can also be used to access U.S. Department of Education resources, such as the National Student Loan Data System. The student and parent must each have their own PIN.
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) may be used to transfer information from federal income tax returns to the FAFSA. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool may be used either during the initial completion of the FAFSA or to update the FAFSA after the form has been submitted. Use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool may reduce the likelihood that the FAFSA will be selected for verification.
Privacy of Student Financial Aid Information
Student aid applications require information about sensitive topics, such as income and assets. Several federal privacy laws have been enacted to protect data provided by parents and students.