This guidance is specific to the 2024-25 award year and later.
The information required when inviting a contributor (student, independent student's spouse, or dependent student's parent) to complete the FAFSA includes the contributor's:
Social Security Number or Mailing Address: For example, when a dependent student invites a parent who has an SSN, they must enter the correct SSN in the invitation screen (shown below) along with the contributor's legal name, date of birth, and email address. The legal name, date of birth, and SSN have to match what the parent used when setting up their FSA ID. There is a crosscheck between the FAFSA and FSA ID system to make sure the parent is getting linked up with the correct student’s FAFSA. When a parent does not have an SSN, the student checks the "My parent doesn't have a SSN" box on the invitation screen and it will flip to asking them to enter the parent's full mailing address instead; the mailing address will have to match what is in the parent's FSA ID to complete the linking process.
If the student incorrectly entered any of the parent's information, the student will have to go back in and correct it before the parent will be able to log in and link up with the student's FAFSA.
Email Address: The email address used to invite a contributor does not have to match the email address in that contributor's FSA ID. For example, the student does not have to use the same email address that is in the parent's FSA ID when they invite the parent to contribute. When the contributor logs in with an FSA ID, the email address does not have to match what is in the invitation. This means that, at the time of the initial invitation, the same email address can be used for multiple contributors (e.g., the student and the parent). Note that the parent is not logging in with an email; they have to log into their section using their FSA ID. The name, date of birth, and SSN will have to match what was in the invitation in order to have access to the student’s FAFSA.
Prior to the release of the updated FSA ID process (scheduled late 2023), the contributor can set up an FSA ID without an email. After ED updates the FSA ID process, an email will be required. If the contributor tries to log into a 2024-25 FAFSA and their FSA ID does not have an email address in it, the contributor will have to stop and add the email address to the FSA ID, but it still won’t have to match what was in the invitation.
How will the FAFSA contributor sections match up when the parent or spouse completes the FAFSA before the student? We don't know yet. When we do, we will update this Q&A.
See also AskRegs Knowledgebase Q&A, Who Is a FAFSA Contributor Starting With the 2024-25 FAFSA?
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