By Julie Gross
Every student should be completing the FAFSA as they apply to college this fall. Creating an FSA ID is the very first step in this process. FSA stands for Federal Student Aid and the ID you create will serve as your legal signature when completing the FAFSA, accepting Direct loans or applying for Parent PLUS loans. The student and one parent will each need to create an FSA ID using their own personal identifiers including, social security number, date of birth and their own unique email. You will be required to verify your email address so the person you are creating the FSA ID for must be present. You may not use the same email for multiple FSA IDs.
Many of the mistakes I see when helping clients with their FAFSA involve the FSA ID. The FAFSA will allow parents to complete the online form without entering an FSA ID however, parents will not be able to sign and submit the FAFSA without an FSA ID which is where the complications start. The other mistake I see often is parents creating an FSA ID for the student using their own email, not realizing that they themselves will need an FSA ID as well. Much of this confusion and frustration can be avoided by visiting the federal website and creating your FSA IDs first.