ED Announces Resolution for FAFSA Contributors Without SSNs Coming in ‘First Half’ of March

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Senior Staff Reporter

The Department of Education (ED) on Tuesday announced that it would resolve a 2024-25 FAFSA issue that is preventing submission when a contributor does not have a Social Security Number (SSN), in the “first half” of March.

ED urged applicants to wait for the permanent fix if possible, but has offered a workaround process by which impacted applicants can submit an online FAFSA without the contributor’s signature in order to obtain a confirmation email with an application submission date. The confirmation email can be used as documentation of FAFSA submission if needed for state, institutional, and/or private aid deadlines. However, because the contributor’s consent, approval, and signature are missing,the process will result in a rejected FAFSA without a Student Aid Index (SAI). Once processing and corrections are available these students will be notified that they will need to make corrections. Once the contributor provides their consent and approval via their FSA ID, the reject will be resolved. ED reiterated in its announcement that this workaround is intended only for applicants with a critical state or institutional deadline to meet in order to receive financial aid.

“We appreciate the Department’s efforts to provide an interim solution for students who have been unable to complete a FAFSA because their parents do not have a Social Security Number,” said NASFAA President and CEO Justin Draeger. “But this interim solution — which will be confusing and burdensome to many — must not distract us from the need to stay squarely focused on a permanent fix, which the Department has promised by the first half of March.”

The nine-step process walks applicants through submitting the FAFSA without the contributor(s) without SSNs signing the form. The students would still have to identify and invite their contributors, and manually enter income and tax information for their contributors who lack SSNs. 

ED instructs those applicants to check their form’s status in the first half of March when ED will begin processing FAFSA forms, at which time students will need to make corrections to their form and have their contributors provide their consent and signature.


Publication Date: 2/20/2024

John G | 2/21/2024 1:55:32 PM

Amanda G above got it exactly right - beginning with Step 1 it's a bit nonsensical - and therefore confusing. From Amanda's post: Step 1 - make sure you and all contributors have an FSA ID. SMH. Do they mean the contributors who don't have an SSN and who cannot create an FSA ID? Oh look, a footnote stating the FSA ID process for that population will be available "end of February".

Joanna C | 2/21/2024 12:49:47 PM

Hopefully, the deadline for State Aid is pushed further out as in prior years. I know it is not the State's fault DOE can't figure this out, but not being able to properly complete a FAFSA for this student population before the state's deadline can negatively impact the students' ability to attend college during the 24-25 award year.

Armand R | 2/21/2024 11:17:15 AM

Amanda G - agreed. There was a day when products were not released until they were market ready.

Amanda G | 2/21/2024 11:1:40 AM

Thanks to Justin Chase B for providing the document with the steps. Not sure why it wasn't included in the original news item. Step 1 - make sure you and all contributors have an FSA ID. SMH. Do they mean the contributors who don't have an SSN and who cannot create an FSA ID? Oh look, a footnote stating the FSA ID process for that population will be available "end of February". Why the heck release this announcement and these steps before then? Our high school counselors, career coaches, and financial aid staff who are assisting high schools with FAFSA completion have absolutely HAD IT with FSA's clown car of solutions/updates/deadline dodging/etc. etc. etc.

Justin Chase B | 2/21/2024 9:20:22 AM

It appears to me that this will not result in an official, but will get the student a "submitted date" so that they can be shown to meet any state or other deadline.

Mia G | 2/21/2024 9:19:21 AM

Will they be updating the FSA Knowledge Center /Issue Alerts with this workaround soon?

Justin Chase B | 2/21/2024 9:18:26 AM

Here is a handout with all of the steps: https://huffman.house.gov/imo/media/doc/How%20To%20Submit%20the%20202425%20FAFSA%20Form%20if%20Your%20Contributor%20Doesn't%20Have%20an%20SSN%20(002).pdf

Erica L | 2/21/2024 8:52:29 AM

The nine-step process is likely what they will announce in the first half of March.

Regina P | 2/21/2024 8:22:26 AM

Please verify the avenue to view nine step process.

Heather W | 2/21/2024 8:13:59 AM

What is the nine-step process to walk applicants through submitting the FAFSA without the contributors SSN. I am not finding instructions.

You must be logged in to comment on this page.

Comments Disclaimer: NASFAA welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in respectful conversation about the content posted here. We value thoughtful, polite, and concise comments that reflect a variety of views. Comments are not moderated by NASFAA but are reviewed periodically by staff. Users should not expect real-time responses from NASFAA. To learn more, please view NASFAA’s complete Comments Policy.

Related Content

Quick Scan Survey Results: April 16


ED Provides Information about Reprocessed ISIR Codes and FAFSA Communication Efforts


View Desktop Version