Got FSA ID Problems?

January 21, 2016

Carrie Warick, Director of Partnerships and Policy

UPDATE - Feb 8, 2016

Federal Student Aid responded to NCAN's letter (see below) and shared the areas where they are working to improve the FSA ID experience. Additionally, FSA outlined some areas that cannot change as they are in place to meet security requirements needed to protect student information. There are three areas for possible improvement: reducing the number of challenge questions, reducing the 30 minute time-out window, and reviewing the 18 month password expiration time frame. 

For information on creating an FSA ID, please see the related blog post: Resources for Helping Students with FSA ID.


ORIGINAL POST - January 21, 2016

Last week, Josh Logue of  Inside Higher Education quoted NCAN Director of External Relations Elizabeth Morgan in its story, “FAFSA Troubles,” outlining many of the issues with FSA ID that you, our members, shared with NCAN throughout the fall. In the article, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Education stated that they had received no official complaints even though NCAN sent a memo with the problems our members experienced and suggested solutions. As we enter peak FAFSA season, it is important for Federal Student Aid to know when and how low-income students are struggling to access the aid they need. NCAN strongly encourages our members to file any comments or complaints using the Federal Student Aid email form: If time allows, please do so for EACH STUDENT who encounters a problem. 

NCAN will continue to advocate for our members and students regarding the new FSA ID system put in place on May 1.  The issue came up repeatedly at our National Conference in September and in replies to the inquiry to the NCAN Rapid Response Policy Team. In the fall, NCAN sent a cover letter along with an outline of problems and possible solutions to officials at both the U.S. Department of Education and Federal Student Aid. Our staff also continues our outreach to members of the media about this issue. Members should continue to monitor problems and report them at the comment link. Additionally, any tracking that you can do to show how FAFSA completion times have increased for your students or that FAFSA completion rates are declining due to the additional barriers of the ID, please record them and share them with NCAN by emailing me and Federal Student Aid

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