FAFSA Tutorial Step #1: Setting Up Your Account

2019-2020 Filing the FAFSA Guide Cover
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No matter which way you decide to file your FAFSA (remember you have three options: FAFSA on the Web, MyStudentAid mobile app, or the paper PDF version), it is always wise to create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) username and password.

Creating an FSA ID

Your FSA ID is essentially your federal student aid credentials to file the FAFSA. Think of it as a username and password, because that’s what it is. It is also a way to electronically sign your FAFSA, and it is considered to be your personal legal signature. 

Each person who needs to provide information for a FAFSA will need their own FSA ID—this means, not only students but parents may need their own FSA ID as well. An FSA ID will be associated with the social security number of the account holder. 

It is strongly recommended that everyone create their own FSA ID to avoid issues later. If a username or password is unknown, the user will have to take a few extra steps and call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) to help unlock their account. 

To create an FSA ID you can go to: https://fsaid.ed.gov

fsa id screenshot for fafsa

You will need to:

  • Provide your personal information (name, date of birth, social security number)
    • Make sure this information matches exactly what is on your social security card! Do not input nicknames or a different last name than the one on your social security card.
  • Create a profile
    • Provide an email
    • Create a strong password (remember, this is your legal signature)
    • Provide your mailing address
    • Recommended: Provide a cell phone number to make it easier if you need account recovery (help with your username and password if you forget)
    • Choose a language
  • Select and create challenge questions
    • The first two challenge questions will ask you to pick a question to answer from a drop down list
    • The last two challenge questions will have you create our own questions and answers
    • Optional: The ability to provide an 8-digit code to access your loan balances over the phone
  • Confirm your information is correct and accept the terms
  • Verify your mobile phone (if provided for account recovery) and your email address
  • A secure code will be sent which you will need to provide when prompted


Your FSA ID is your credential into your federal financial aid world—your username and password needs to be confidential!! Not only can you use it to electronically sign documents, but you can use it to log into your My Federal Student Aid account which holds your federal grant and federal student loan information.

Choose your method to complete the FAFSA

FAFSA on the Web: www.fafsa.ed.gov

FAFSA Login Screenshot

MyStudentAid Mobile App

Your printed copy of the FAFSA

Which FAFSA Should I File?

Which FAFSA Should I File for the 2019 2020 school year

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