Mapping Your Future logo

The two reasons you need to create a FAFSA save key

A hypothetical FAFSA admission ticket

December 1, 2022

A save key for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is not the same as a password, but it could be just as important to helping a student complete the form.

The save key, which students and/or parents are required to create when completing the FAFSA, is a helpful way (and may be necessary in some cases) for the form to be completed.

The save key, which is not the same as the student or parent FSA ID (account username and password), has two main purposes:

  • The save key allows a student or parent to return to an application later should it be necessary.
  • The save key allows a student to share access to the application (without sharing an FSA ID) if a parent needs to add information or provide a signature.

The save key is required to be four to eight characters long and it can contain any combination of numbers, uppercase letters, and lowercase letters. Once a student or parents stops completing the FAFSA without submitting it, the information will be saved and will remain available via the save key for 45 days.

The U.S. Department of Education advises students and parents to choose a save key that can be remembered but that would be hard for others to guess and avoid using personal identifiers.