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(General) Subject: FSA ID/PIN Replacement - E-mail Notifications to Encourage FSA ID Creation Prior to Completing 2016-2017 FAFSA

Posted Date:November 6, 2015

Author: Pamela Eliadis, Service Director, System Operations & Aid Delivery Management, Federal Student Aid
Brenda Wensil, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Federal Student Aid

Subject: FSA ID/PIN Replacement - E-mail Notifications to Encourage FSA ID Creation Prior to Completing 2016-2017 FAFSA

We would like to inform the community of a Federal Student Aid e-mail notification campaign to encourage students and parents who do not yet have an FSA ID to create their FSA ID in advance of the January 1, 2016 availability of the 2016-2017 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).

The FSA ID, implemented in May 2015 as a replacement to the Federal Student Aid PIN, is being successfully used by millions of students, parents, and borrowers to access personal financial aid information online and to electronically sign and submit certain documents. To date, more than 17 million users have successfully created an FSA ID. In addition, we have recorded nearly 70 million successful FSA ID authentications (users logging in) on FAFSA on the Web, NSLDS Student Access,,, and the TEACH Grant website.

The goal of the e-mail notification campaign is to encourage applicants and their parents who may still need an FSA ID to create one now, to avoid any unnecessary processing delays. A newly-created FSA ID can be used immediately to sign and submit an original FAFSA. For most other functions, including starting a Renewal FAFSA, signing a promissory note, or completing exit counseling on, if the user does not link to a PIN with a successful match from the Social Security Administration (SSA) during the FSA ID registration process, they will have limited use of the FSA ID until the SSA confirms their personal identifiers (one to three days).

In this announcement, we provide the following information regarding the FSA ID e-mail notifications:

  • Notification Selection Criteria

  • Notification Distribution Schedule

  • Notification Text

  • Resources for Schools

Notification Selection Criteria

We will send e-mail notifications to dependent students and parents of dependent students for whom we have a valid e-mail address on file, if they meet the following criteria:

  • A dependent student who

      - completed a FAFSA on or after January 1, 2015, and

      - previously had a Federal Student Aid PIN, but

      - has not yet created an FSA ID.

  • A parent who

      - was listed on a student’s FAFSA on or after January 1, 2015, and

      - previously had a Federal Student Aid PIN, but

      - has not yet created an FSA ID.

At this time, we will not send notifications to independent students, given the need to limit the number of e-mail notifications being sent and to focus the campaign on applicants with the greatest need for information, in advance of peak 2016-2017 FAFSA processing. We may consider sending notifications to independent students at a later time, and will notify the community in advance if we decide to do so.

Notification Distribution Schedule

We began sending a limited group of notifications during the week of November 2, 2015 to test message effectiveness. We will begin sending the rest of the notifications on November 9, 2015. We will be closely monitoring the volume of questions coming into our contact centers, and will make adjustments as needed.

Notification Text

The e-mail notifications encourage the student or parent to create an FSA ID now, in order to be able to sign and submit the 2016-2017 FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1, 2016. The notifications remind the recipient that they must create their own FSA ID and not share it with others. The notifications also highlight the requirement that a unique e-mail address be used.

To review the full text of the e-mail notifications that will be sent to dependent students and parents, refer to the attachment to this announcement. The sender of the e-mail notifications is “Federal Student Aid []”.

We are providing the sample e-mail notifications for informational purposes. However, we encourage any school that wishes to adapt the text for school-specific messaging to do so. We appreciate your assistance in helping us reach students, parents, and borrowers who have not yet created an FSA ID.

Resources for Schools

Please monitor the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site in the coming weeks for information about additional FSA ID resources from Federal Student Aid, for use by schools when educating their students about the FSA ID, or when assisting students with FSA ID-related questions.

Contact Information

FSA ID information, tips, and a link to create an FSA ID are available at Please direct students, parents, and borrowers who have questions about the FSA ID to that page.

If users have reviewed the information at but are still having difficulty obtaining an FSA ID or logging in with their FSA ID, they should contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). Web chat is also available from the “Help” page under “Contact Us.”

Last Modified: 11/05/2015