3-20: Upcoming Enhancements to the FSA ID

Posted Date: March 20, 2019

Author:  Federal Student Aid

Subject: Upcoming Enhancements to the FSA ID

On March 31, 2019, we will implement several enhancements to improve the FSA ID experience. These enhancements are part of our continuous improvement of Federal Student Aid (FSA) systems and are an important step toward realizing our vision for the Next Generation (Next Gen) Financial Services Environment.

The FSA ID—a user-created username and password—is required for students, parents, and borrowers to authenticate their identity and access their federal student aid information online. The websites and applications that use an FSA ID to log in are fafsa.gov, the myStudentAid mobile app, StudentLoans.gov, NSLDS Student Access, StudentAid.gov, the Application for Borrower Defense to Loan Repayment, and the Federal Student Aid Feedback System.

Refer to the sections below for more information about the FSA ID enhancements that will be implemented later this month.

Note: There is one exception to the March 31st implementation date. Implementation of these changes on the StudentLoans.gov website will occur during the period of April 5-7, 2019.

Log In with Verified Mobile Phone Number

Following implementation of this enhancement, FSA ID users will be able to log in with a verified mobile phone number as an alternative to a username. Currently, FSA ID users may log in with a username or verified email address. This enhancement recognizes that some FSA ID users may prefer the use of a mobile phone over email and provides greater flexibility for students, parents, and borrowers.

To take advantage of this new option, the user must first register his or her mobile phone number on the FSA ID website if he or she has not already done so. Approximately one third of all FSA ID accounts already include a verified mobile phone number.

The process to register a mobile phone number is as follows:

  • When creating or updating an FSA ID account, the user will be asked if he or she wants to register a mobile phone number. If the user agrees, he or she will enter the mobile phone number. Note that for security purposes, a mobile phone number can only be associated with one FSA ID.

  • To verify the number, a secure code will be texted to the mobile phone. The text may take a few minutes to arrive.

  • The user must then enter the secure code within 30 minutes on the verification page on the FSA ID website and select “Submit.”

  • Once the mobile phone number has been verified, it can be used to reset a password, retrieve a username, or unlock an FSA ID account. After implementation of this enhancement on the websites and applications that require an FSA ID, the verified mobile phone number can also be used to log in.

A user may choose to change the mobile phone number at any time by logging in to the “Manage My FSA ID” page on the FSA ID website.

Additional Enhancements

We will also implement several other changes to the FSA ID website to allow users to manage their FSA ID account more effectively, provide enhanced navigation, and strengthen security:

  • Warn users who enter an email address domain type of .edu, .k12, .pvt, .tec, or .cc that they should include an email address to which they will not lose access (after graduation, etc.).

  • Remove the 18-month password update requirement. A password change will be required only after a security event.

  • Remove the requirement for special characters in an FSA ID password. However, we will allow additional special characters in the password field for users who wish to use special characters.

  • Warn users when their account is about to be locked. The warning will indicate how many log-in attempts remain.

Additional, minor changes will be made to further improve the FSA ID user experience by streamlining processes and improving flow.

Contact Information

Thank you in advance for your support as we implement these enhancements.

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

If additional help is needed, the user should contact the customer service center for the Federal Student Aid system he or she is trying to access. Each Federal Student Aid website that requires the FSA ID has a link to service center support, typically under “Help” or “Contact Us.”

 

Publication Date: 3/21/2019

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