Do I need an FSA ID to complete my FAFSA®?
The Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID is a username and password combination the U.S. Department of Education uses as a security measure to verify an individual’s identity.
While it’s recommended that students and parents use an FSA ID to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), it’s not a requirement.
If you have a Social Security number and phone number or email address, you can create an FSA ID to fill out and submit the FAFSA®. If you can’t create an FSA ID, you’ll be required to print, sign, and mail a signature page to submit and process your application.
Read on as we dive into more information about the FSA ID and what you need to know about it.
Is an FSA ID required to complete the FAFSA®?
You can fill out and submit your FAFSA® online without creating an FSA ID. When prompted to sign and submit your application, select “submit without signatures,” and then print and mail a signature page.
If you can’t fill out the FAFSA® form online, you have other options. You can print and mail a PDF version of the FAFSA®. You can also request a paper copy of the FAFSA®.
Students without access to a computer can receive FAFSA® assistance from a wide range of college access organizations, such as the National College Access Network. Students can also visit a local library, use a computer at school, or get help from a school counselor.
Still, it’s worth noting that having an FSA ID can help simplify the FAFSA® process, and yes, while you can fill out the FAFSA® without creating an FSA ID, it might be worth it to create one.
Is the FSA ID for students or parents?
If you’re a dependent student, one of your parents will need their own FSA ID if they need to electronically sign the FAFSA® form. That’s because if you need to provide your parent’s information on your FAFSA®, your parent will most likely also need to sign the FAFSA®.
It’s important to note that your parent must create his or her own separate FSA ID — your parent shouldn’t use your FSA ID, and you shouldn’t create an FSA ID for your parent. If you’re unsure whether you’re a dependent student, visit StudentAid.gov for more information.
How do you create an FSA ID?
You can create an FSA ID on the FSA website. You’ll be asked to complete the following steps:
- Create a unique username and password
- Provide your name, date of birth, Social Security number, and contact information
- Provide answers to challenge questions for account recovery
- Respond to the verification email or text message
All new users must set up one more two-step verification method (text, email, or authenticator app) during the “Create an Account” process. Once one or more two-step verification methods are set up, users will receive a security code each time they log in to StudentAid.gov.
You’ll be able to sign your FAFSA® immediately. However, it'll take time for the Social Security Administration to verify your information and grant you full access to complete other actions with your FSA ID.
How do you create a parent FSA ID?
- Go to the FSA ID website
- Fill in the information under “Create an FSA ID,” and then click “Continue”
- You’ll be directed to another page with an online form. There, you’ll fill out your personal information, which includes the parent’s name, address, and Social Security number
- Once you’ve followed all the instructions, you’ll need to wait while the system confirms your identity
Only one legal parent needs to create an FSA ID. In the case of separated or divorced parents, students should provide information about the parent they’ve lived with the most during the past 12 months. Make sure you know who your legal parent is before filling out the FAFSA® because incorrect information can delay the application process.
Parents: If you previously created an FSA ID when you were a student, you don’t need to make another one. You can only have one FSA ID linked to your Social Security number.
How do I find my FSA ID if I lost it?
If you have an FSA ID but don't remember your username, select "Forgot Username" during the login process on the FSA website. If you verified your email address or mobile phone number when you created your account, you can enter your email address or mobile phone number instead of your username.
If you have an FSA ID but don't remember your password, select “Forgot Password” on the sign-in page.
What if my FSA ID has been disabled?
If you’re getting this error, it likely means that either the name, date of birth, or Social Security number from your FSA ID and FAFSA® don't match. If you checked and they do match, and you’re still getting an error, the owner of the FSA ID can call the FSA Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 for FSA ID assistance.
While it’s not required to create an FSA ID to file the FAFSA®, given how central the FAFSA® is when it comes to receiving financial aid, having one can serve to help make the FAFSA® process easier.