By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS
In May 2015, the Department of Education replaced the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Personal Identification Number (PIN) with the FSA ID. This change was put into place to enhance security for students’ financial data and reduce the chance of identity theft and fraud. While the change does not have a profound effect on the FSA process, there are a few points that you need to fully understand:
- The FSA ID is primarily used to sign in to pertinent FSA websites, including fafsa.gov, nslds.ed.gov and studentloans.gov.
- You can apply for your FSA ID at any time. If you already have an FSA PIN, use your PIN while you register for your FSA ID. All of your information will link to your new ID.
- If you are a dependent, your parent needs an FSA ID so that he/she can sign your FAFSA. You cannot share the same FSA ID as your parent.
- You will no longer need your FSA PIN for any steps in the FSA process.
- Your FSA PIN will not expire, but your password will expire every 18 months. Make sure to change your password at least once every 18 months.
The best way to get your new FSA ID is to log into certain Department of Education (ED) websites such as the ones listed above. There will be a link that will prompt you to create your FSA ID.
Once you start the process, enter your log-in information (email address, username, password, etc.) and enter your personal information (Social Security Number, full legal name, date of birth). Provide answers to five challenge questions and then click submit. After completing these tasks, you will be provided with your FSA ID.
New changes to an already intimidating process can be a pain, but the change to the FSA ID has produced strong positive results. There is more security, users can conveniently use their email to address certain issues (forgotten password, etc.), and the process to receive FSA has become more streamlined. If you have any questions about your FSA PIN or ID, contact a financial aid representative at your school.