Posted Date: January 12, 2015

Author:  Brenda Wensil, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Federal Student Aid
William Leith, Chief Business Operations Officer, Federal Student Aid

Subject: FSA ID Information - Communicating the Transition to Students

As we announced in an October 1, 2014 Electronic Announcement posted to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site, we will implement a new login process this spring for our student- and borrower-based websites, including FAFSA on the Web, NSLDS® Student Access, StudentLoans.gov, StudentAid.gov, and the TEACH Grant website. The new FSA ID, which will be comprised of a user-selected username and password, will replace the Federal Student Aid PIN as the process by which students, parents, and borrowers authenticate their identity to access their federal student aid information.

At the December 2014 FSA Training Conference, we shared the date of implementation of the FSA ID (April 26, 2015) and outlined our communication strategy to inform users of the change. To ensure the transition to the FSA ID is as seamless as possible for our customers and to minimize confusion before the change, we will complete the following activities this spring:

  • We will post an announcement about the FSA ID on each impacted website in mid-April 2015. This high-level information will introduce the FSA ID to users but will also reassure them that there is nothing they need to do before the change.

  • We will also create a new page on StudentAid.gov in mid-April that provides additional information about the upcoming transition to the FSA ID. Once the FSA ID is implemented on April 26, 2015, users who visit the PIN website will automatically be redirected to this page.

  • After implementation on April 26, 2015, users who arrive at the impacted websites will be directed to a link to register for their new FSA ID. The registration process should take less than seven minutes.

Note: During the FSA ID registration process, an individual who already has a PIN with a successful match from the Social Security Administration (SSA) will have the option to link that PIN to their new FSA ID. By linking to a “matched” PIN, the user will be able to immediately use the FSA ID with the FAFSA on the Web, NSLDS Student Access, StudentLoans.gov, StudentAid.gov, and the TEACH Grant websites. If an individual does not link to a “matched” PIN during the FSA ID registration process, they will have limited use of the FSA ID until the SSA confirms their personal identifiers (1-3 days). This is similar to the “conditional PIN” that new PIN applicants currently receive, while waiting for the SSA match to be conducted.

If your institution has a population that you feel would benefit from this information prior to mid-April 2015, we support your efforts to inform them. Later this winter we will post a step-by-step guide to registering for an FSA ID to the IFAP Web site. If you share this guide or any other FSA ID information with your students, parents, and borrowers, please emphasize that there is nothing a user can or should do prior to implementation. A user should simply be prepared to complete the transition when they visit one of the impacted websites on or after April 26, 2015.

As a reminder, this change will not impact the FSA User ID login process that is currently in place for financial aid professionals.

Thank you in advance for your support as we implement this important change.

   

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