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College & Career Training in Alaska

02Oct

4 easy tips to getting your FSA ID without stress. (Hint: you need this to file your FAFSA)

As of October 1st the 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available online.  Before you can begin filling out the FAFSA you’ll need to begin with an FSA ID.  What is an FSA ID you may ask? The FSA ID is a username and password combination that allows you to access, complete and sign your FAFSA electronically before submitting the form.

Working with students on a daily basis who need to complete, or renew, their FAFSA I can honestly say that one of the biggest issues that brings about stress to parents and students is troubleshooting an FSA ID that was inadvertently created wrong.

If you’re a dependent (most students right out of high school are), you and at least one parent, will need to create your own individual FSA ID. If you’re a returning college student, who has already filled out the FAFSA, you should already have one and your parent should already have theirs.

Below are 4 basic tips that will help you avoid stress with your FSA ID:

  1. Know Your Social Security Number.  If you haven’t already done so, now would be a good time to memorize your social security number or at least have it with you when creating your FSA ID. Make sure you enter each number in correctly. You will also be asked to enter your birth date and contact information.
     
  2. Have Your Own Unique Email Address.  This is a big one! Some parents and students like to share email addresses, but when it comes to the FSA ID this can create a lot of problems (especially if you forget your username and password). Plus, for dependent students, at least one parent will also need to create their own FSA ID and the same email for a different name will not be accepted.  Remember the following:
    • Student and parent should have separate email addresses
    • Pick an email that you can access from any computer (like Yahoo, Gmail, or Hotmail)
    • Avoid using work or school email addresses that may expire once you’ve left
    • Use an email that you plan to keep for the duration of your college or training   
    • If your email changes, update those changes to your FSA ID before not after you delete your old email address
    • If you have several different email addresses, use the one you check most often

 

  1. Create and REMEMBER Your User Name and Password. This may sound silly, but this can be a painstaking process so plan ahead.  You will be asked to come up with a password that does not include any identifiable information in it (date of birth, social security #, name, and etc.).  It’s very important that you REMEMBER this user name and password because you will need it time and time again to login to your FAFSA for reasons like:
    • Making changes or corrections
    • Renewing your FAFSA the following year
    • Entrance loan counseling and signing a Master Promissory Note (MPN) if you plan to take out a student loan

 

  1. Verify Your Email. Once you’ve input the information to create your FSA ID you will immediately be sent an email, with a secure code, asking you to verify the email you entered. This must be done before your FSA ID will work.  You will also be given the option to verify your phone number.  This is a great backup and if you choose to do this, you will be sent a text message with another secure code that must also be verified.

 

For more information on the FSA ID with a step by step process click here.

For more FAFSA information and needed documents click here. Or pick up a FAFSA Folder with the same information at the Success Center in the Dimond and University malls.

If you have questions or would like to sit down with an expert contact the ACPE Success Center, ACPESuccessCenter@alaska.gov, or 800-441-2962 option #4

 

Best Wishes,

Christina Campbell, College & Career Specialist

About the Author

Christina Campbell

Christina Campbell

ACPE: College & Career Specialist

Christina Campbell is a College & Career Specialist with the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education. She has a BS in Journalism and Communications from Eastern New Mexico University, and a Broadcast Meteorology Certification in Geosciences from Mississippi State University. Christina was on the original implementation team that brought College Goal Sunday to Alaska in 2005. 

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