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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Financial aid students now require new user ID

Amanda+Boyd%2FThe+Collegian
Amanda Boyd/The Collegian

By Jamil Oakford/ editor-in-chief

Students across the country are now required to have a new ID to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Amanda Boyd/The Collegian
Amanda Boyd/The Collegian

In previous years, students only needed to provide a four-digit PIN that would allow them access to the application, and it served as an electronic signature at the end of the process.

Starting this year, students are required to set up an FSA user ID to make the process more secure.

TR financial aid specialist Christina Palacios said this shouldn’t be a big shift for many students.

“It shouldn’t have a great impact as long as they don’t forget it,” she said.

Students are allowed to request a new FSA ID if they do forget it. But for NW financial aid assistant Kimeeka Holmes, this change could have an impact on how long it takes to get the application processed.

“It can delay their financial aid process,” she said.

Many say this is an attempt at making the process more secure for students since the PIN could be accessed by anyone with a student’s Social Security number and birthdate.

“This is a way to try and battle identity theft and other security problems,” Palacios said.

The Department of Education won’t be the only federal department validating a student’s identity. The Social Security Administration will cross-reference the information provided, which can take a couple days to verify.

Holmes advises that the earlier the FSA ID is created, the better.

“There are two ways students can set up their new ID,” Holmes said. “They can log in with their general information initially from the start, or they can wait until the end. We encourage that you do the FSA ID first.”

Parents will also need their own ID if their tax information is needed in the application process.

“As long as they have the student’s Social Security number, they’ll be able to access their student’s application,” Palacios said.

NE student Lauren Sargeant likes the idea.

“I think it’ll be good, especially since the four-digit code was less safe,” she said. “There are only so many combinations.”

Sargeant said depending on one’s outlook, she thinks it could be a good or bad thing.

“For me, I think it’s better,” she said. “But I think it really depends on the person and whether they want to remember a long password.”

For any questions or help with filling out the FAFSA or setting up a new ID, students can call 817-515-4243.

 

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