Federal Student Aid - IFAP
   

Publication Date: June 9, 2006

Author: G. Kay Jacks, General Manager, FSA Application, School Eligibility and Delivery Services

Summary: Reminder Regarding Privacy Requirements of the Federal Student Aid PIN

Posted on 06-09-2006

We would like to remind all financial aid administrators (FAAs), financial advisors, and other organizations that you should never ask students (or their parents) to provide you with their Federal Student Aid PIN. In addition, you must never initiate a request for a PIN on behalf of an applicant, nor should you ever use the PIN to conduct federal student aid transactions for the applicant. While these requests may be well intended, it is inappropriate for anyone to solicit a PIN for or from another person. This is true regardless of whether the PIN owner has been informed of the activity or voluntarily agrees to it.

The PIN forms part of an "electronic signature" that can be used to sign a number of federal student aid documents, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and promissory notes. The PIN also allows on-line access to private and confidential information, including financial data from the application processing system and loan information from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). For these reasons, maintaining the integrity of the PIN process is critical to the management of the federal student aid programs and to the protection of privacy rights.

We continue to hear of a few institutions, financial advisors, and other organizations that ask applicants (and their parents) to provide them with their PIN. Please refer to Dear Colleague Letter GEN-04-10 (http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN0410.html) for further information about the privacy requirements for the PIN.

Also note that the Federal Student Aid PIN that you may have received to conduct business as an FAA (i.e. for use on FAA Access to CPS Online) should not be shared with other FAAs, as the same privacy concerns apply. All FAAs must have their own unique PIN to access Federal Student Aid systems. If you share your PIN with others, you will be responsible for any questionable activity resulting from its use.

We appreciate your assistance in maintaining the security of the PIN process, and ensuring all student data is afforded the highest degree of privacy. As new employees join your institution or organization, please inform them of this critical information.

If you have any questions about this message, contact the Federal Research and Customer Care Center (RCCC) at 800/433-7327.