FSA TO IMPLEMENT ENHANCEMENTS TO THE FSA ID

Students, parents, and borrowers use their FSA ID to access websites and applications such as 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. As part of Federal Student Aid’s (FSA) initiative to implement the Next Generation (Next Gen) Financial Services platform, they will be providing enhancements to improve the functionality of the FSA ID. These changes are scheduled to take effect on April 14, 2019. The changes include the ability for users to log in to FSA systems using their mobile phone number, new user messaging, changes to the password requirements and other changes to make the process more streamlined and flow better.  These changes are expected allow users to manage their FSA ID account more effectively, provide enhanced navigation, and strengthen security. In a recent electronic announcement FSA, provided more information about the upcoming FSA ID enhancements.

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.

FSA 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:

New User Messaging

Updated messaging will 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.).

Additional messaging will warn users when their account is about to be locked. The warning will indicate how many log-in attempts remain so students don’t get accidentally locked out and to prevent brute force password hacking attempts.

Updated Password Requirements

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.