Creating a FSA ID
We strongly recommend you create an FSA ID, a username and password combination that allows you to sign your FAFSA® form electronically. Your FSA ID also can be used to access the myStudentAid app, sign loan contracts, and access certain information online. While you can obtain your FSA ID as you’re completing the FAFSA form online, getting it ahead of time and using it to begin your FAFSA form on fafsa.gov or on the myStudentAid mobile app cuts down on potential errors and delays. Find out how to get an FSA ID and what to do if you forgot your FSA ID.
An important note: If you’re a dependent student, one of your parents whose information is reported on the FAFSA form will also need an FSA ID so that he or she can sign your application electronically. If your parent doesn’t have a Social Security number (SSN), your parent won’t be able to create an FSA ID (which requires an SSN). This means you’ll have to select the option to print a signature page when you get to the end of your FAFSA form on fafsa.gov (this option isn’t available in the myStudentAid app).
Creating your FSA ID before you begin the FAFSA® form only takes a few minutes and could prevent processing delays. (Plus, you can’t use the myStudentAid mobile app at all without an FSA ID, so you’ll need to create it before filling out the FAFSA form on the app.)
Tip: Use your FSA ID to start your FAFSA form.
When you create your FSA ID, be careful to enter your name and Social Security number exactly as they appear on your Social Security card. Then, if you go to fafsa.gov to start your application and indicate that you are the student, you will be given the option to enter your FSA ID or to enter your “identifiers” (your name, date of birth, and SSN).
If you log in with your FSA ID, certain information (including your name, Social Security number, and date of birth) will be automatically loaded into your application. This will prevent you from running into a common error that occurs when your verified FSA ID information doesn’t match the information on your FAFSA form. Additionally, you won’t have to provide your FSA ID again to sign your FAFSA form electronically or to use the Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) if you’re eligible.
The student is the one applying for financial aid, so be sure it’s the student entering his or her FSA ID in the “I am the student” tab. Don’t start the FAFSA form by supplying the parent’s FSA ID.
Gathering the Documents Needed to Apply
The FAFSA questions ask for information about you (your name, date of birth, address, etc.) and about your financial situation. Depending on your circumstances (for instance, whether you’re a U.S. citizen or what tax form you used), you might need the following information or documents as you fill out the application:
- Your Social Security number (it’s important that you enter it correctly on the FAFSA form!)
- Your parents’ Social Security numbers if you are a dependent student
- Your driver’s license number if you have one
- Your Alien Registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen
- Federal tax information or tax returns, including IRS W-2 information for you (and your spouse, if you are married) and for your parents (if you’re a dependent student):
- IRS 1040
- Foreign tax return, IRS 1040NR, or IRS 1040NR-EZ
- Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau
- Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans noneducation benefits for you and for your parents if you are a dependent student
- Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate (but not including the home in which you live); and business and farm assets for you and for your parents