Thank you for joining us for this brief video with our very own Fairy Godmother of Financial Aid, Peg Keough. Peg is one of our resident financial aid experts, and she collaborates with families on finding the best way to pave an affordable path to college. Ready? Let’s dive in!

Transcript below:

Hi, Peg Keough here from College Aid Pro™. Today we’re going to talk about the Federal Student Aid ID, otherwise known as the FSA ID. 

What is the FSA ID?

What is the FSA ID, and why do you need to get it? Simply put,  it is needed to submit your FAFSA, which is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

It’s the financial aid form that most schools in the United States require. Most schools only require the FAFSA, but there are other schools that require another forms as well (CSS Profile, or even a school-specific financial aid form). 

Why do you need an FSA ID?

You need to get an FSA ID in order to access and electronically file the FAFSA, which is what most people do when applying for financial aid. Submitting your FAFSA electronically is instantaneous, and therefore the most efficient way to submit.  It is very rare to send the FAFSA in paper form anymore, and we don’t recommend it!

So, if you have a rising senior or a child that is about to start their senior year in high school, you’re going to want to get your unique FSA ID created. We can show you how to create your FSA ID in this 3 Minute video here. This is something you can do now and get the task out of the way while you continue your college application process. 

Who Needs an FSA ID?

Who needs to get the FSA ID? The student that’s applying for college needs their own, as well as a parent. If the parents are married, only one parent needs to get the ID, and that’s going to be the parent that will use it to electronically submit the form.

If your family is divorced or separated, then the parent that is submitting the FAFSA with the student is the parent that needs to get the FSA ID. When electronically submitting the FAFSA,  one parent is going to sign the form with their own FSA ID, and then the student that’s applying for college is going to sign with their own FSA ID. 

When is it used?

When is the FSA ID used? It is used to electronically submit the FAFSA. When you get to the end of the FAFSA, before you can submit it, the form is going to ask you for the FSA ID of the student and the FSA ID of the parent.

You are going to need to have that in place in order to submit the FAFSA. The student can also use the FSA ID to actually sign into their FAFSA initially. The FSA ID is not required to access the FAFSA,  but you definitely need it to electronically file the form. And again, both the parent and the student need to sign the FAFSA in order to submit it. 

So if you have a rising senior, now is the time to go ahead and get that done. You can go to this link to create yours today – Create your FSA ID. What will happen is you’ll create the username and password, and then there’ll be some security questions that you’ll need to create very similar to other websites.

Keep in mind that there is a processing time after you submit it when the government is checking the information that you submit. In other words, don’t wait until the last minute to create your FSA ID! You’ll want to give yourself at least a few days, but ideally closer to a full week or two prior to the FAFSA deadline in order for your FSA ID to be processed and approved for use.

Have Questions?

We cover questions about all things college and financial aid during our regular Office Hours and educational webinars! All MyCAP members are welcome to join, and you can create your free account by clicking here. In addition to live Q&As, webinars, and events, your MyCAP account will also help you:

  1. Identify the actual costs of colleges and universities on your “to apply” list.
  2. Estimate your expected family contribution (EFC).
  3. Research need-based and merit-based financial aid opportunities for your college-bound student.
  4. Understand what financial aid might be available to your family at a variety of different colleges and universities across the country.
  5. Track application deadlines easily.

And more! Ready to get started? Sign up today by clicking here.