Free FAFSA Guide
The U.S. Department of Education replaced the FSA PIN (Federal Student Aid PIN) with the new FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID), effective May 10, 2015. The FSA ID will allow students and parents to access and electronically sign the online version of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and various U.S. Department of Education websites with a user-selected username and password.
This new login process is more secure, since it eliminates the need for students and parents to provide personal data, such as their name, date of birth, and Social Security Number (SSN), every time they access U.S. Department of Education websites. This change permits self-service password retrieval by email without requiring the applicant to reveal personal data. It also allows for name changes (for example, through marriage) without requiring an application for a new FSA ID.
The new FSA ID provides a single sign-on for accessing all of the U.S. Department of Education’s consumer-facing websites. For example, in addition to FAFSA on the Web, the FSA ID is used to access:
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool does not require students and parents to re-authenticate themselves if they log in with an FSA ID.
The FSA ID username must be at least six alphanumeric characters. The password must be 8-30 alphanumeric characters. The password may not match the individual’s name, Social Security Number, or date of birth. Everybody must change their password at least once every 18 months.
When choosing a password, remember that the FSA ID is also an electronic signature, used to sign the FAFSA, loan promissory notes, and other legal documents. So, it is best to consider other tips for choosing a good password.
Each FSA ID must be associated with a different email address. Parents may not use their own email address for a dependent student. Students must have their own email addresses. (A new, web-based email account can be obtained for free from Gmail.com, Outlook.com, or another free email website.)
Follow these steps to create a new FSA ID:
The FSA ID may be used to file a FAFSA immediately. There may be a delay of a few days before the FSA ID can be used to login to the other U.S. Department of Education websites.
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