PSEUDO SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS FOR PACIFIC ISLANDERS

Students and families from the Freely Associated States (the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau) typically do not have a U.S. Social Security Number. These “Pacific Islanders” are generally eligible for Title IV aid however they require special consideration when completing the FAFSA to avoid applicants using the same SSN.

As a work around, the Central Processing System (CPS) will allow students as well as FAA’s to enter the number 666 for any FAFSA applicant that indicates that their state of legal residence is one of the Pacific Island states noted above and do not have a U.S. SSN.

Once the application is submitted, the Central Processing System (CPS) will assign the student a new nine-digit pseudo-SSN that begins with “666” that they will use as their SSN whenever they apply for Federal Student Aid, including applications in future award years.

First-time FAFSA filers from the Pacific Islands should enter “666” for the first three digits of their SSN on the FAFSA website and leave the remaining digits blank. FAA’s using FAA access to CPS to enter the FAFSA application should also follow this process.

For returning FAFSA filers from the Pacific Island, it is critical that the student uses his or her originally assigned nine-digit pseudo-SSN whenever they complete any new FAFSA in subsequent award years. If returning filers only provide the first three “666” digits of the pseudo-SSN on any subsequent FAFSA, it will result in the creation of an entirely new pseudo-SSN, so it is important that students are made aware and that FA staff are properly trained to identify affected students and to handle their applications correctly.