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Personal Identification Number (PIN)

All students completing a FAFSA need to apply for a PIN. If a student is dependent, both the student AND the parent must apply for a PIN to sign the FAFSA.

General Information

The Federal Personal Identification Number or Federal PIN is a four digit code given out by the Department of Education.  All students completing a FAFSA need to apply for a PIN. If a student is dependent, both the student AND the parent must apply for a PIN to sign the FAFSA. The PIN is a personal identifier, therefore a parent will only need one PIN to sign the FAFSA's of multiple dependent children. Once a PIN has been assigned it will expire after 18 months of non-use. 

Students and parents are encouraged to apply for a PIN before completing the FAFSA on the Web application.  If a PIN has not been received before completing the FAFSA, there may be processing delays on the FAFSA application.

Uses for the PIN

The PIN is used to sign the FAFSA electronically each year. It is also used to electronically sign Master Promissory Notes (MPN), review and correct information on the student’s Student Aid Report (SAR), print a copy of the SAR, reapply for student aid every year, and view information about federal loans and grants the student has received.

Applying for a PIN

Follow this link to apply for a PIN and click “Apply for a PIN.”  Select “Next” and fill in your personal information, your home address, your e-mail address, select a challenging question, and provide an answer phrase.  A PIN will be e-mailed within 1-3 days of applying.  If an e-mail address is not available, the Department of Education will mail a PIN within 7-10 days.

If you lose your PIN you can re-apply for a new PIN or request a duplicate at

New Federal Student Aid (FSA) Identification to Replace the PIN

In April 2015,  a new login process will be implemented for student and borrower-based websites, including FAFSA on the Web, NSLDS® Student Access,,, and the TEACH Grant website. The new FSA ID, which will be comprised of a user-selected username and password, will replace the Federal Student Aid PIN as the process by which students, parents, and borrowers authenticate their identity to access their federal student aid information. The new functionality will offer a single sign-on process for most of the systems.

The change is being made to eliminate the need for individuals to enter personal identifiers (Social Security number, name, and date of birth) when accessing Federal Student Aid's systems. This change is critical to comply with new security requirements and industry best practices. Visit the PIN website at:

FAFSA/Help Sites

Apply for financial aid at Virginia Tech by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The FAFSA on the Web Worksheet allows you to read and complete the questions before entering your information online. The questions are listed in the same order that they appear on the Web site.

FAFSA4caster will help you get an early start on the financial aid process by providing you with an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid.