Guide to Using PIN.ED.GOV

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Students need a Federal Student Aid PIN (personal identification number) to apply electronically for federal student aid, to add schools to the FAFSA, to make corrections to the FAFSA, to sign federal education loan documents, and to access other federal student aid systems and tools. The Federal Student Aid PIN functions as an electronic signature.

If the student is a dependent student, at least one of the student’s custodial parents will also need a Federal Student Aid PIN.

A PIN may be obtained from www.pin.ed.gov. This web site may also be used to change the PIN or request a duplicate PIN if the original PIN has been compromised, lost or forgotten.

To obtain a Federal Student Aid PIN, applicants and parents will need to provide the following personal information, in addition to supplying challenge questions and answers:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security number

The name, Social Security number and date of birth must be an exact match to the information on the applicant’s Social Security card. Otherwise, the application for a Federal Student Aid PIN will be rejected.

After entering this personal information, applicants can choose to select their own 4-digit PIN or to have a number assigned at random.

Once the application is submitted, the U.S. Department of Education will email a link to a web page that will display the Federal Student Aid PIN, if the applicant provides a valid email address. This email message should be received within a few minutes. The link expires after two weeks.

The Federal Student Aid PIN will be considered conditional until the applicant’s identity has been verified with the Social Security Administration (SSA). This can take up to 3 days.

When to Apply for a Federal Student Aid PIN

Students and parents can apply for a Federal Student Aid PIN when completing the FAFSA on the Web. This takes only minutes, so they should not worry if they have not yet applied for a PIN.

But, it can be helpful to get a Federal Student Aid PIN before starting work on the FAFSA. The Federal Student Aid PIN can be obtained at any time, even in the fall before the FAFSA becomes available in the following January.

Using the Federal Student Aid PIN

The Federal Student Aid PIN allows students and parents to access a variety of federal aid sites in order to assist with various steps of the financial aid process:

Federal Student Aid PINs can be changed at any time. Applicants can also request a new PIN, disable a PIN and check their PIN status at www.pin.ed.gov.

Additional Resources