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One thing you must do before applying for financial aid

A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

Before you can apply for financial aid to help pay for your education after high school, there is one step you must complete first.

To apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you must have a Federal Student Aid ID – more commonly referred to as the FSA ID.

Both the student and at least one parent will need an FSA ID to complete the FAFSA. To obtain an FSA ID, follow these steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Enter your e-mail address (must be unique to you, it can't be associated with anyone else's FSA ID).
  3. Create your username and password.
  4. Enter your personal information.
  5. Submit your information.

Once you have created an FSA ID, it will be your key to perform several different functions on the U.S Department of Education’s websites.

Students will use the FSA ID to:

  • Log into or
  • Sign the FAFSA.
  • Complete a Renewal FAFSA (every year the student plans to attend postsecondary education).
  • Apply for federal student loans.
  • View financial aid history on the National Student Loan Data System (also at

Parents will use their FSA ID for some of the same functions, including:

  • Signing the FAFSA
  • Applying for federal parent loans (Direct PLUS Loans).

Your FSA ID is assigned to you permanently. Although you will be able to reset your username and password if you ever forget them, it is important to protect your FSA ID as it provides access to your personal information.