Last month the Department made additional enhancements to the FSA ID. The enhancements were made as part of the Next Generation (Next Gen) Financial Services Environment FSA has been implementing. The FSA ID is used by students, parents and borrowers to access websites like FAFSA.gov, StudentLoans.gov, NSLDS Student Access, StudentAid.gov, and the myStudentAid mobile app. The FSA ID is also required for access to the Application for Borrower Defense to Loan Repayment and the Federal Student Aid Feedback System.

According to a recent electronic announcement from FSA, the following enhancements were made on May 19th.

Require verified email address or mobile phone number. New FSA ID users will be required to provide either a verified email address or mobile phone number when creating an FSA ID account. Existing FSA ID users who do not already have a verified email address or mobile phone number will be prompted to provide one when logging in for the first time after implementation of this change. This enhancement ensures FSA ID users can manage their account more effectively and helps us stay in contact with FSA ID users as needed. As a reminder, a verified email address or mobile phone number can be used to log in, reset a password, retrieve a username, or unlock an FSA ID account.

Replace Create-Your-Own Challenge Questions with Pick-From-List Challenge Questions. FSA ID users must answer four challenge questions when creating an FSA ID account. The answers to the challenge questions may be required to verify the user’s identity and are an important security feature. Currently, FSA ID users select two challenge questions from a list of questions and create two challenge questions on their own. To streamline the process for users, we will remove the create-your-own option. Users will select all four required challenge questions from a list.

Add Editable Summary Page to the Create Account Process. Users will have the option to edit the summary information that is presented at the end of the process to create an FSA ID. If a user identifies an error, he or she may edit and save the information directly on the summary page, rather than having to go back to correct the information on a prior page.


On May 14, 2017 Federal Student Aid is implementing enhancements to the FSA ID. The biggest improvement for FSA ID users is the addition of SMS text messaging as an option for users to reset their user ID, retrieve their username or unlock an account. According to FSA, this new feature, which users can add to their account when creating or updating their FSA ID, will maintain the security of the FSA ID while providing an additional self-service channel. Users who have forgotten their username or password, or who have an FSA ID account that is locked, may request that a secure code be texted to their mobile phone. The user enters the secure code on the FSA ID website and may then continue with the process to reset their password, retrieve their username, or unlock their account.

To take advantage of this new option, the user must first register their mobile phone number on the FSA ID website. The process to register for SMS/text messaging is as follows:

When creating or updating an FSA ID account, the user will be asked if they want to register their mobile phone number for account recovery purposes. If they agree, they will enter their 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 click Submit.

Once the mobile number has been verified, it can be used to reset a password, retrieve a username, or unlock an FSA ID account.

Users who already have an FSA ID will not see any change to the current log-in process on fafsa.gov, the Federal Student Aid Feedback System, NSLDS Student Access, StudentAid.gov, and StudentLoans.gov, related to this enhancement. Instead, they will be prompted to register for SMS/text messaging after logging in to the FSA ID website. FSA ID users who have not yet registered their mobile phone number will also be encouraged to adopt the SMS/text messaging feature at the end of the reset password and retrieve username processes.

FSA will also implement additional enhancements to allow users to manage their FSA ID more effectively, to strengthen security and provide users with updated training resources.

  • The fifth challenge question (significant date) will become optional.
  • Enhanced navigation on the User Account Management pages will simplify account changes.
  • The option to link a Federal Student Aid PIN to the users FSA ID will be removed. In the past, a PIN expired after 18 months of nonuse. As we approach the two-year anniversary of the FSA ID replacing the PIN, all PINs that have not been linked to an FSA ID by May 14th will be treated as expired and will no longer be linkable to an FSA ID.
  • A disclaimer prior to log-in will warn against unauthorized usage by third-party for-profit entities. The user must select Accept in order to proceed.
  • Several new video tutorials (How to Create Your FSA ID, How to Retrieve Your FSA ID Username, and How to Reset Your FSA ID Password) on the FSA ID website will assist users with the new processes.
  • A new fact sheet, Creating and Using Your FSA ID, will be available on StudentAid.gov and the FSA ID website in early June 2017. For More Info click here:

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