In early March 2014, FSA will initiate a change to the length of time an FSA User ID may be left unused, before it is suspended or deactivated, as well as a change to the password reset function. An FSA User ID and password are necessary to log in to all systems behind Federal Student Aid’s Access and Identity Management System (AIMS).
Beginning Friday, March 7, 2014, any FSA User ID that has not been used within the past 90 calendar days will be suspended and any FSA User ID that has not been used within the past 365 calendar days will be deactivated. The number of days of inactivity is unique to every user and it will be immediately reset to zero whenever the user logs in to any system behind AIMS.
In addition, the number of challenge questions that a user must answer in order to reset their password will increase from one to three, and users will be prompted to establish a total of five challenge questions during the password reset process.
The systems/Web sites that are currently behind AIMS and which will be affected by these changes are the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) Web site, eCampus-Based (eCB), eCDR Appeals, ExperimentalSites, FAA Access to CPS Online, Financial Partners Datamart, National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Professional Access, and Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) Enrollment.
Note: This suspension or deactivation of inactive FSA User IDs is separate from the annual requirement for every organization enrolled for an SAIG account to review and validate its assigned TG numbers (SAIG mailboxes) and electronic services user accounts. That process, which also may result in the deactivation of unused FSA User IDs, is known as active confirmation and was most recently completed in December 2013.
As of March 7, 2014, if an FSA User ID has not been used to log in to a system behind AIMS for 90 calendar days (i.e., since December 7, 2013), it will be suspended. To avoid the suspension of an FSA User ID due to a90-day period of inactivity, a user must simply log in to any system behind AIMS before 90 days have passed.
Also, as of March 7, 2014, if an FSA User ID has not been used to log in to a system behind AIMS for 365 calendar days (i.e., since March 7, 2013), it will be deactivated and access to all systems will be removed. Toavoid the deactivation of an FSA User ID due to a 365-day period of inactivity, a user must log in to any systembehind AIMS before 365 days have passed.
New password reset requirements are also being implemented for any system behind AIMS. Currently, if a user has forgotten their password and chooses “Forgot Password?” from the login screen, the user must provide the answer to one of the challenge questions that the user established when originally registering for their FSA User ID. After March 7, 2014, a user will need to correctly answer three challenge questions to reset their password.
If the user cannot answer three challenge questions correctly after three attempts, the user’s FSA User ID will be locked and the user will need to wait 30 minutes before trying again. Alternatively, the user can call the customer service center of the system they are trying to access for assistance with resetting their password. In addition, the number of challenge questions a user must establish when registering for an FSA User ID will be increased to five. Currently, users select three challenge questions as part of the FSA User ID registration process. After March 7, 2014, when a user with an existing FSA User ID successfully resets their password, the user will be prompted to select five challenge questions if the user previously established only three questions.
An Electronic Announcement released January 24, 2014 describes the changes for FSA User IDs and provides the following information is detail.
- Suspension of FSA User ID After 90 Days of Inactivity
- Deactivation of FSA User ID After 365 Days of Inactivity
- Additional Password Reset Measures
- Contact Information
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