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Summary: Reminder: Successful Social Security Match Required for PIN Authentication on Web Sites

Publication Date: March 29, 2006

Author: G. Kay Jacks, General Manager, FSA Application, School Eligibility and Delivery Services

Summary: Reminder: Successful Social Security Match Required for PIN Authentication on Web Sites

Posted on 03-29-2006

We would like to remind all financial aid administrators (FAAs) of a security enhancement implemented in December 2005 that impacts PIN authentication on U.S. Department of Education Web sites. This enhancement may affect FAAs who use their assigned PIN for personal reasons, such as providing a parent signature on a student's FAFSA on the Web application.

The security enhancement, implemented on December 27, 2005, requires that PIN users have a successful Social Security Administration (SSA) match flag before they can use their assigned PIN to access and authenticate data on Web sites such as FAFSA on the Web and Direct Loan Servicing.

Because an SSA match is NOT required for FAAs to authenticate on the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site, we do not conduct an SSA match when generating PINs for FAAs that enroll for electronic access on the Federal Student Aid Enrollment Web site (fsawebenroll.ed.gov). However, just as a successful SSA match is required for any student or parent to apply a signature electronically, a successful SSA match IS required for FAAs to use their PIN for personal reasons, such as signing an electronic application on FAFSA on the Web.

If an FAA attempts to use their PIN on a Department Web site other than FAA Access to CPS Online (e.g. to provide an electronic signature on FAFSA on the Web), and the FAA does not have a match with the SSA, a message will be displayed to alert the user that a successful SSA match is required. If you receive such an alert message, follow the instructions provided in the message to resolve the situation.

If you have any questions about this issue, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806), or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

Last Modified: 03/28/2006