A Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) is the credentials students and parents can use to access the U.S. Department of Education’s online system. If you or your child plans to apply for federal student aid, having an FSA ID can accelerate the application process, and it will also allow you to easily manage your aid online in the future.

What is an FSA ID?

An FSA ID is the username and password required to access your account for federal student aid on the Department of Education website.

Each FSA account can have only one FSA ID, and you should never create an FSA ID for someone else, including family members. FSA IDs are tied to Social Security numbers and serve as a legal signature.

Your FSA ID will help you do the following:

  • Access the online FAFSA form.
  • Sign your FAFSA application and submit it online.
  • Prefill the online FAFSA form with information from the previous year.
  • Log in to the myStudentAid app.
  • Sign loan contracts.
  • Manage student loan repayment plans.

Who needs an FSA ID?

You’ll need an FSA ID if you or your child wants to sign and submit the FAFSA form online instead of sending it via mail.

Having an FSA ID will also make it easier to complete your FAFSA each year, as it allows you to prefill information from the previous year’s application, import tax information from the IRS into your FAFSA and view and print a copy of your Student Aid Report.

Finally, college students and their parents who need to access and correct information and federal financial aid online will need an FSA ID to do so.

How to create an FSA ID

The process for creating an FSA ID is relatively simple, and both students and their parents will need to create their own individual FSA ID to take advantage of its benefits. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Enter personal information: Start by heading to the Federal Student Aid website. You will need to provide your Social Security number, email address, phone number, full name, date of birth and mailing address.
  2. Create a unique username and password: Your password should be between eight and 30 characters long. It must have at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter and one number. Special characters are not required but can be used.
  3. Complete challenge questions and answers: You will need to select a total of four challenge questions and provide your answers. These questions will be used to verify your identity if you forget your password.
  4. Enter your email address or phone number: An email address or phone number can be used for only one FSA account. If you share an email or phone number with someone else, make sure that it has not already been used to create an FSA ID.

Frequently asked questions about FSA IDs

What do I do if I forget my FSA ID?

If you forget your FSA ID, you can follow the prompts on the login page to regain access to your account. You will need to provide either your email address or your phone number, or give answers to your challenge questions.

What do I do if my FSA ID password expires?

Your FSA ID account does not expire. You will be asked to change your password only if there is a security event or you need to recover your account. If this happens, follow the steps provided to you in order to reset your password.

Can you fill out the FAFSA without an FSA ID?

It is possible to fill out the FAFSA without an FSA ID. In fact, it may be necessary in cases where one or both parents doesn’t have a Social Security number and, therefore, can’t create an FSA ID. In this event, you can still fill out the FAFSA form online, but you’ll need to print it out, sign it by hand and submit the application via mail.

In the event that all parties have a Social Security number, having an FSA ID provides you with the safest and fastest way to complete and submit the FAFSA form.