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(General) Subject: Upcoming Federal Student Aid System Access Changes for Professional Users

Posted Date:March 8, 2018

Author: Federal Student Aid

Subject: Upcoming Federal Student Aid System Access Changes for Professional Users

On March 18, 2018, we will implement several changes that will impact financial aid professional users of systems and websites behind Federal Student Aid's Access and Identity Management System (AIMS). These changes include new password requirements, updates to the deactivation process for FSA User IDs and Two Factor Authentication (TFA) tokens, and a new look and feel for the AIMS web pages.

AIMS provides the authentication process for many Federal Student Aid systems, allowing an authorized user to log in once with an FSA User ID, password, and TFA token security code and then access multiple systems during one active session. The systems and websites that are behind AIMS are the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) Web Site, Electronic Cohort Default Rate Appeals (eCDR Appeals), Experimental Sites, eZ-Audit Datamart, FAA Access to CPS Online, National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Professional Access, Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) Enrollment, and the EDconnect software.

In the sections below, we provide more detail about the following topics:

  • New Password Requirements

  • Deactivation of FSA User ID and TFA Token after 90 Days of Inactivity

  • Updated Look and Feel of AIMS Web Pages

  • Browser Information Reminder

  • Contact Information

New Password Requirements

Beginning March 18, 2018, new password requirements will be implemented for users accessing systems behind AIMS. The new requirements will take effect immediately for any new user who is establishing an FSA User ID and password for the first time. A user with an existing FSA User ID and password will be prompted to create a password that meets the new requirements the next time the user performs a password change or password reset.

A new password must meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum length of 12 characters;

  • Contain at least one uppercase (A-Z) and one lowercase (a-z) letter;

  • Contain at least one number (0–9);

  • Contain at least one special character (! @ # $ & *);

  • May not match or resemble the user’s first name, last name, login name, or any Federal Student Aid system name.

Help text and error messages, if appropriate, will provide the user with additional guidance on the new password requirements.

Deactivation of FSA User ID and TFA Token after 90 Days of Inactivity

Additionally, beginning March 18, 2018, we will deactivate any FSA User ID that is inactive for 90 calendar days, including any FSA User ID that has not been used in the 90 calendar days prior to implementation of this change (i.e., since December 19, 2017). The user’s TFA token—either the physical device or the “soft token” app—will also be deactivated. The number of days of inactivity is unique to every user and it will be immediately reset to zero whenever the user logs in to any system behind AIMS.

In order to reactivate the FSA User ID, the user must call the customer service center of the system behind AIMS that the user needs to access. The user will be required to answer additional security questions to validate his or her identity and reactivate the account. After completion of this process, the reactivated FSA User ID will be available for immediate use.

A deactivated TFA token must be restored for use by calling the TFA Support Center (refer to the “Contact Information” section at the end of this announcement for more information).

Note: At 180 calendar days of inactivity, the user’s TFA token will be removed from his or her account. The user will need to register the token again, or register a new token.

To avoid the deactivation of an FSA User ID or TFA token due to a 90-day period of inactivity, a user must simply log in to any system behind AIMS before 90 days have passed.

Updated Look and Feel of AIMS Web Pages

We are updating the look and feel of the user interface for AIMS, including the login, edit account, FSA User ID registration, and TFA Portal web pages. The design changes are consistent with other Federal Student Aid websites, and do not impact functionality on the pages.

Browser Information Reminder

As we continue to implement enhancements to our systems and websites, we would like to remind users that many older and/or unsupported web browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10) may have issues with connections to Federal Student Aid websites, now that our websites have implemented HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security). As we described in an October 31, 2016 Electronic Announcement, implementation of HSTS is an important component of Federal Student Aid’s transition to secure internet connections. To prevent receiving error messages, users should ensure they have access to Internet Explorer 11 or above with Compatibility View Settings disabled, or the current version of other web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.).

Contact Information

We appreciate the assistance of all Federal Student Aid system users as we implement these system access changes.

If you have questions about password requirements or how to reinstate an FSA User ID that has been deactivated, contact the customer service center for the specific system or website you need to access. Service center contact information is available on the IFAP website's Service Centers for Schools page or is provided on the specific website.

If you have questions about your TFA token, contact the TFA Support Center at 1-800-330-5947, option 2 (TDD/TTY 1-800-511-5806) or by email at

Last Modified: 03/07/2018