Help

FAFSA Help

Error: The following error(s) have occurred:
  • You must enter a keyword.



Trending Questions

  • I received an error that my name, date of birth, and SSN listed on the FAFSA do not match my FSA ID. What does that mean?

    The name, date of birth (DOB), and Social Security Number (SSN) you list on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must exactly match what you listed when you registered for your FSA ID.

    This error often occurs when you put the student’s FSA ID in a parent field or vice versa. That’s the first thing you should check. This is one reason why it’s very important that you do not use anyone’s FSA ID but your own.

    If switching student and parent is not the problem, you can check to see if your FAFSA and FSA ID information match up by following these steps:
    Check FSA ID Information

    1. Go to https://fsaid.ed.gov.
    2. Click the "Edit My FSA ID" tab
    3. Enter your FSA ID username and password. If your parent’s FSA ID caused the error, he or she should follow these steps.
    4. Click the LOGIN button.
    5. Check the name, DOB, and SSN listed, and verify that all three match exactly what appears on your Social Security card. If everything matches, proceed to the next step. If not, correct the information and save it. Note: If you edit your FSA ID information, you may need to wait up to 3 days for that information to process before you can use your FSA ID to log into FAFSA on the Web.

    Check FAFSA on the Web Information
    1. Go to https://fafsa.ed.gov and click the LOGIN button.
    2. If you’re the student, enter your FSA ID username and password on the left. If you're the parent, use the "Enter the student's information" option on the right.
    3. Enter the Save Key if asked.
    4. Verify that the name, DOB and SSN match what was in the FSA ID account information.

    If you're getting this error, it means that either the name, DOB, or SSN from your FSA ID and FAFSA do not match. If you checked and they do match and you're still getting an error, the owner of the FSA ID can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243 for FSA ID assistance.

  • I’m a parent. How can I fill out a FAFSA if I can’t use my child’s FSA ID?

    NEW: We have a video available to help parents navigate the FAFSA without using their child's FSA ID.

    As a parent, you can start a new FAFSA for your child using their name, Social Security number and date of birth. From the FAFSA home page at https://fafsa.ed.gov, click Start A New FAFSA, and then choose, "Enter the student's information" on the right. Follow directions to start a FAFSA for the year your child will be attending school.

    You will be asked to create a "Save Key." The Save Key is a short, temporary password you can give to your child when it is time for him or her to sign the FAFSA.

    Fill out the FAFSA. On the "Sign and Submit" page, use your (the parent's) FSA ID to sign the FAFSA in the parent section.

    Then your child will need to sign the FAFSA using his or her own FSA ID. If your child is with you, he or she can enter it on the page. If your child is not with you, share the Save Key you created. Your child can go to https://fafsa.ed.gov and use the Save Key to log in to the FAFSA you started, complete the student section of the "Sign and Submit" page and then click SUBMIT at the bottom of the page. The FAFSA is not submitted until you see the "Confirmation" page, which you should save for your records.

    It is very important that you and your child create and use your own FSA IDs. The FSA ID acts as a legal signature and should not be shared. Letting someone else create your FSA ID is not allowed and can create problems and delays with the student's financial aid. For more information or to create your own FSA ID, go to https://StudentAid.ed.gov/fsaid.

  • I’m a parent. How do I report education savings accounts (e.g. 529 college savings plans) correctly on the FAFSA?

    When reporting your net worth investments as a parent, if you have one or more education savings accounts (such as a 529 plan or the refund value of a 529 plan), you must report that plan for every dependent child you have a plan for, even if some of those dependent children are not currently completing a FAFSA.

    For example, if you have a 529 plan for a dependent child filling out a FAFSA, and a 529 plan for a younger dependent child who is not yet filling out a FAFSA, you must report both accounts under the parents’ net worth investments.

  • I’m a student. How can I fill out a FAFSA if I can’t use my parent’s FSA ID?

    NEW: We have a video available to help students and parents navigate the FAFSA without using each other's FSA IDs.

    You and your parents can fill out the FAFSA together, even if you are not in the same location.

    One of you can start the FAFSA at https://fafsa.ed.gov. Click Start A New FAFSA. If you are starting the FAFSA, enter your FSA ID (more about this below) on the left hand side of the "Login" page. If your parent is starting the FAFSA, he or she should enter your name, Social Security Number (SSN), and date of birth on the right.

    Whoever is starting the FAFSA will be prompted to create a "Save Key." The save key is a short, temporary password you and your parent can share to be able to fill out a FAFSA when you are not in the same location.

    Fill out your sections of the FAFSA, enter your FSA ID in the student section of the "Sign and Submit" page, and then save and close it. Share the "Save Key" with your parent. He or she can use your name, SSN, and date of birth with the Save Key to log in to the FAFSA you started and complete the parent sections. Your parent will enter his or her own FSA ID in the parent signature area of the "Sign and Submit" page.

    Whoever signs last should click the SUBMIT button at the bottom of the "Sign and Submit" page. Your FAFSA is not submitted until you reach the "Confirmation" Page, which you should save for your records. Your application will take 3-5 days to process, and one business day after that, it will be made available to the schools you listed on your FAFSA.

    It is very important that you and your parent create and use your own FSA IDs. The FSA ID acts as a legal signature and should not be shared. Letting someone else create your FSA ID is not allowed and can create problems and delays with your financial aid. For more information or to create your own FSA ID, go to https://StudentAid.ed.gov/fsaid.

    If your parent does not have a Social Security number, he or she will not be able to get an FSA ID. In that case your parent will print, sign and mail in a paper signature page.

  • How do I unlock my FSA ID?

    There are two ways to unlock your FSA ID. You can either use your e-mail or answer some of your challenge questions.

    To start:

    1. Go to the Edit My FSA ID tab.
    2. Log in using your username and password. You will receive the message, "Your FSA ID is locked. To unlock it, use one of the following options." Select one of the two options.

    Option 1: E-mail

    1. Click the E-MAIL button. You will be taken to a page that says "Unlock Your FSA ID - Using Email." A secure code will be sent to the e-mail address that's on record with your FSA ID.
    2. Open your e-mail in a different browser tab or window or from another device. Do not close the FSA ID Web page while accessing your e-mail.
    3. Once you receive the e-mail, enter the secure code on the FSA ID page in the box that says "Secure Code." The secure code expires after 10 minutes.
    4. Click on the SUBMIT button. Your account is unlocked and you will be taken to a page to change your password.
    5. Follow the instructions to create a new password.

    Option 2: Challenge Questions

    1. Click the CHALLENGE QUESTIONS button. You will be taken to a page that says "Unlock Your FSA ID - Using Challenge Questions."
    2. Answer three of your five challenge questions shown on the screen. Your answers must match the ones you entered when creating your account. The answers are not case sensitive.
    3. Click on the VERIFY button. If you answered your challenge questions correctly, your account is unlocked and you will be taken to a page to change your password.
    4. Follow the instructions to create a new password.

  • I submitted my FAFSA; what happens next?

    If you submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online using FAFSA on the Web, then the U.S. Department of Education will process your application within 3-5 days. If you submitted a paper FAFSA, your application will be processed within 7-10 days.

    Once your application is processed, you will receive a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR), which summarizes the information you provided on your FAFSA. Review your SAR and make sure all of the information is complete and accurate.

    If there is any missing or incorrect information, then you should complete or correct your FAFSA as soon as possible.

    Your SAR will include your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC determines your eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant, and the college uses the EFC to assess your eligibility for other federal and nonfederal student aid.

    Once your FAFSA is processed by Federal Student Aid, your SAR is sent to the colleges that you listed on your FAFSA. Each college will use the information on your SAR to determine your eligibility for federal and nonfederal student aid. The colleges you listed are responsible for creating your award package and disbursing your financial aid. However, listing a college on your FAFSA is generally not sufficient to receive aid at that college, as most colleges do not create award packages for every applicant who lists the college on a FAFSA.

    You should contact the financial aid office at the college you plan to attend to find out if there are additional requirements for receiving financial aid and to learn more about the process of applying for aid at that college.


Didn't find what you are looking for?
Try searching help.

Making Corrections

Already submitted your FAFSA and need to make a correction? Get help submitting a correction, adding a school, viewing or printing your Student Aid Report (SAR), and more.

Next Steps

You've submitted your FAFSA; what happens next? Understand your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), your Student Aid Report (SAR), and next steps.

Contact Us

Didn't find an answer to your question? Contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center.