Posted Date: May 7, 2015

Author:  Lisa DiCarlo, Director, Student Experience Group, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Overview of May 2015 Enhancements to the FAFSA on the Web Site

As part of Federal Student Aid’s ongoing mission to simplify and streamline the student aid application experience for students and parents, we are implementing several enhancements to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the Web site on May 10, 2015.

In order to better support students and their parents with inquiries related to these enhancements, financial aid administrators and support staff should familiarize themselves with these upcoming changes and update any training materials or services as needed.

To seamlessly integrate the new FSA ID, we are making the following updates to FAFSA on the Web (FOTW):

  • New Look to the “Login” Page: With the implementation of the FSA ID, FOTW users will have the choice to log in with their new FSA ID Username (or verified e-mail address) and Password, or to use the existing login functionality and log in with their name, Social Security number and date of birth.

  • FSA ID Status Information Added to the “My FAFSA” Page: Students will be able to view their FSA ID Status on the “My FAFSA” page, as well as have the ability to update or create an FSA ID.

  • “Create a Save Key”: Users logging into FOTW will be asked to create a “Save Key”, which will be used to save the application in the event the user logs into an application or correction record and then exits the record prior to submission. This replaces the “Password” functionality that previously existed. The benefit of the “Save Key” is that students and parents can use this function to pass the FAFSA back and forth if they are completing the FAFSA in separate locations.

  • FSA ID Persistence: Users who choose to log in to FOTW using their FSA ID will encounter “FSA ID persistence”, meaning that, once they have successfully authenticated with their FSA ID within FOTW, they will not have to enter it again to link to the IRS (in order to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool), to sign and submit their application, or to view their Student Aid Report (SAR). Since FOTW users will have the opportunity to log in with either their FSA ID or their personally identifiable information (PII), it’s important to remember that students who log in with PII will need to create an FSA ID in order to access any processed information or use the IRS DRT.

  • Changes Resulting from the Decommissioning of the Federal Student Aid PIN Web Site: We are revising or removing PIN references in other features and functionality in our systems, such as e-mail notifications, SAR comments generated by the Central Processing System and FOTW help text.

The ideas and recommendations offered by students, parents, financial aid professionals, and other partners continue to guide the enhancements made to FOTW, and we welcome that feedback to improve the user experience.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding the upcoming changes described in this message, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-4-FEDAID (800-433-3243) or by e-mail at FederalStudentAidCustomerService@ed.gov. TDD/TTY service is also available at 800-730-8913.

   

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