The FSA (Federal Student Aid ID) is a self-selected username and password that is an important first step of the federal financial aid process. The FSA ID serves as a legal signature in order to submit the FAFSA. Both the student and one parent (dependent students only) will need to create unique and separate FSA IDs.  In a two-parent household, only one parent needs to create an FSA ID. It is recommended that the FSA IDs are created prior to completing the FAFSA.

If a student is not eligible to fill out the FAFSA and will instead be filling out the California Dream Act Application, the student will not be creating an FSA ID. Note that if a parent does not have a social security number they will not be able to create an FSA ID, but can still sign the FAFSA via a printed signature page if the student is eligible to complete the FAFSA. 

When registering for the FSA ID there will be a series of questions about the student in terms of basic information like address, etc.  Each user will need to select 4 security questions from the drop-down menu and enter answers for them. These security questions will be asked if the user forgets their username or password. In addition, you can use your phone number and/or email for text/email password recovery. A user can retrieve their username or reset their password, either by correctly answering the challenge questions or by having a secure code texted to the cell phone or sent to the email address if they completed the email and/or phone verification steps. If the user uses the challenge question option to reset the password, they will have to wait 30 minutes before they can use their new password.

The FSA ID can be edited and updated as needed and as personal information changes such as an email address. To make changes to the information, the user can go to and select the “Edit My FSA ID”. Passwords need to be changed every 18 months. 

The FSA ID can be a tricky part of the process, especially if there are problems with users forgetting usernames and passwords. If the user gets stuck they can call the FSA ID help center at 1-800-433-3243.

Important links and resources

  • To create an FSA ID click this link: and click on “create account”
  • For more information about how to register for an FSA ID, students and families can view this video from Federal Student Aid here.


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