What is a U.S. Department of Education PIN and why do I need one?
If you want to work on line with any of the federal loan or financial aid websites, your PIN (personal identification number) is needed to verify your identity. When you enter your PIN at these sites, you are saying either “Yes, it’s really me—please show me the personal information about me on this site” or “Please accept my PIN as my electronic signature on this online form.”
For example, you can use your PIN to do the following:
How do I get a PIN?
1. Go to http://www.pin.ed.gov and enter the requested personal information (name, address, Social Security number, etc.). 2. You will receive an e-mail with information about where you can access your PIN. Since e-mails aren't secure, your pin can't be sent that way. Instead, you will be asked for some personal information to identify yourself before being shown you your PIN.
What else do I need to know about my PIN?
If you need to provide information about your parents on the FAFSA, one of your parents will have to sign the application. They will need to apply for their own PIN to do so. Once received, they can sign electronically with their own PIN. You will need to put your parents’ information on the FAFSA if you are a dependent. If you aren't sure, you can check out “Am I dependent or independent?” at http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/pubs or call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
You can use your PIN again next year. Your PIN (and your parent’s PIN) will not expire at the end of the school year, and you can continue to use it in the future to renew your FAFSA, sign loan contracts, etc. If your parent has more than one child in college, that parent can use the same PIN to sign FAFSAs for every child.
The Scholarship & Grant Guide