Next Gen FSA – Information about FSA Partner Connect Access and IFAP Website Transition to Knowledge Center (EA ID: GENERAL-21-15)

Federal Student Aid
Next Gen FSA – Information about FSA Partner Connect Access and IFAP Website Transition to Knowledge Center (EA ID: GENERAL-21-15)
In a Feb. 25, 2021 Electronic Announcement, we provided initial information about the FSA Partner Connect website ( launch planned for March 28, 2021. In this announcement, we provide more details about FSA Partner Connect access information and the transition of the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website to the Knowledge Center.

FSA Partner Connect Access Information

Several features of FSA Partner Connect will not require users to log in and will continue to be available to the general public. Users visiting FSA Partner Connect for the Knowledge Center, Federal Student Aid Handbook, Help Center, or as a means to link to other FSA websites will not need to log in.

Other features, such as single sign-on functionality to certain FSA systems (specifically the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System, FAA Access to CPS Online, and the National Student Loan Data System), the Partner Dashboard, and access to protected data—such as student, parent, and borrower account details—will require users to log in. Users must

  • be enrolled in FSA Partner Connect by a school’s (or third-party servicer’s) Primary or Secondary Administrator,

  • have an FSA User ID and password, and

  • have a valid, registered two-factor authentication (TFA) token.

In most cases, users who access other FSA systems, like those noted above, will have an existing FSA User ID, password, and TFA token. Users must be enrolled in FSA Partner Connect by their Primary or Secondary Administrator before they can log in.

Note: In FSA Partner Connect, we will not use Primary or Secondary Destination Point Administrator terminology. Instead we will use Primary or Secondary Administrator. For most organizations, the responsibilities will be handled by the same person.

Knowledge Center – What to Expect

As a reminder, the IFAP website will be retired when FSA Partner Connect launches. The Knowledge Center ( will offer

  • a new look, feel, and layout to pages and publications,

  • easier access to current and historical content, and

  • more robust and relevant search functionality.

The Knowledge Center capitalizes on newer technology and a modernized web interface, and incorporates feedback from you, our partners, including those of you who participated in focus groups, the Partner Experience Council, and sessions at the 2019 and 2020 Federal Student Aid Training Conferences. We greatly appreciate your suggestions and requests for specific tools and resources.

IFAP to Knowledge Center URL Changes

We have taken steps to better facilitate getting users to the new location for resources following the March 28 implementation of the Knowledge Center. Many resources will go directly to their new locations within the Knowledge Center (often called a redirect). In other cases, given the redesigned site structure, a redirect is not possible; however, in those cases, users will receive a message that tells them about the transition to the Knowledge Center and provides the URL for Knowledge Center Home. The table below provides a summary of redirects.

Page Type

Redirect in Place



Electronic Announcements, Dear Colleague Letters, Foreign School Updates, and Federal Register Notices


Technical references and guides


Information pages and FAQ pages

No; messaging in place and job aid resource will be available prior to implementation

General resources (Help, contact information, and calendar)

No; messaging in place and job aid resource will be available prior to implementation

Even with the improvements we made to the redirect process, schools and organizations will have to evaluate and plan to change their websites and documentation that may be linked to an IFAP web page or URL. In addition, users who have bookmarked pages will need to begin replacing them with the new Knowledge Center page URLs.

Similarly, we are in the process of updating FSA websites, posted documentation, and correspondence to remove references and links to the IFAP website. Note: Due to a publication’s or website’s development cycle, references to the former website may continue to appear for some time; however, if those references are hyperlinked, they will redirect as outlined above.

IFAP to Knowledge Center Content Transition

While the overwhelming majority of IFAP content will remain on the Knowledge Center, we will use some new terminology. In some cases, the terminology has not changed, but the location or organization of the material has changed.

  • “What’s New” is unchanged. This section will continue to appear on Knowledge Center Home. The five most-recent postings will appear on Knowledge Center Home; users can click on “View All Recent Posts” to view the full list of recent postings from the last 14 days.

  • “Hot Topics” is now “Featured Information.” This section will continue to be accessible from Knowledge Center Home and provide quick links to highly visible or pressing topics.

  • “Information Pages” are now “Topics.” These pages will continue to be accessible from Knowledge Center Home and provide information or resources related to a specific topic or focus.

  • “iLibrary” is now “Library.” This section will now appear on Knowledge Center Home; it will continue to provide users a different way to look for specific publications grouped under four category types: Program, Functional, Resource, and System. Note: The Program Type and Functional Type categories are unchanged from the former website. Resource Type was formerly Document Type, and System Type is new in the Knowledge Center.

  • “Search” has been moved to be easily accessible from the center of Knowledge Center Home and will also be available from the blue sub-navigation bar on other Knowledge Center pages. Other improvements include:

    • “Advanced Search” has been updated to make searching for specific materials easier and more intuitive. Users can filter by resource type, calendar year, or date range using the boxes or the calendar icons on the “Search” screen.

    • As users begin typing a search term, users will see suggested or popular search results before executing the search, helping users find the most-relevant information.

    Once a search is complete the search results will list the most-relevant material matching the selected criteria. Users will also be able to sort search results by relevance or date.

  • Really Simple Syndication (RSS) will remain available in the Knowledge Center. This feature can help users automatically keep up with the latest postings on the Knowledge Center. Customers who used IFAP RSS will need to copy and paste the Knowledge Center code into their current RSS reader. The specific instructions depend on the RSS reader being used, but we are including instructions from a frequently used reader “Feedly” as an example.

    Instructions for Adding Knowledge Center RSS for “Feedly” Reader.

    1. Copy the URL of an RSS feed.

    2. Paste the URL in the Feedly Search box and select the RSS feed from the list of sources.

    3. Select Follow.

    4. Select New Feed.

    5. Enter a descriptive name for the feed.

    6. Select Create.

    7. In the left pane, select the RSS feed.

    8. Select the content you want to read.

In some cases, general resources will be moved to be part of the broader FSA Partner Connect website. The Help Center—including contact information, the calendar, and links to non-FSA websites or other government or state agencies—will not be part of the Knowledge Center, but will be available and accessed directly from the FSA Partner Connect home page. In addition, most of the training-related pages have been removed from the Knowledge Center, and schools will go to the FSA E-Training website for all training material, including training related to the launch of FSA Partner Connect.

Subscription Information

Previously, users were able to subscribe to receive daily or weekly email updates about communications published on the IFAP website. Both subscription options will continue to be offered under the Knowledge Center.

If you are subscribed to IFAP email updates as of 6 p.m. ET on March 19, 2021, your subscription information will be transferred to the Knowledge Center and effective when FSA Partner Connect site launches on March 28. After launch, users not previously subscribed to IFAP email updates will be able to subscribe to Knowledge Center email updates using the link on Knowledge Center Home.

Federal Student Aid Handbook

The Federal Student Aid Handbook will continue to be accessible from Knowledge Center Home and will be organized into volumes and chapters as it has in the past. The new version will be presented in a more user-friendly format, including both a digital version and a downloadable PDF version.

Training and Additional Information

As noted in the Feb. 25, 2021 Electronic Announcement, there will be training to help the financial aid community navigate the FSA Partner Connect site and use its tools and resources. Later this week, we plan to post a Training Announcement to provide details about these opportunities.

The community can also keep up with the latest information on the FSA Partner Connect Information page.

We look forward to working with you as we continue to prepare for the exciting launch of FSA Partner Connect.

Last Modified: 03/25/2021