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The IFAP online library contains technical publications, regulations, and policy guidance on the administration of the Federal Student Aid programs.
  FSA Library - Help Center
HELP CENTER - For assistance, contact the FSA Customer Service Call Center toll-free on 1-800-433-7327 if the items below do not answer your question.

Hours of Operation are weekdays 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Eastern Time, weekdays except for federal holidays.

Search Hints
Search Information

Questions General Questions
What is IFAP?

Information for Financial Aid Professionals or IFAP is an application that was developed to provide school and financial partners with electronic access to the many FSA publications that guide the administration of the Title IV Student Financial Assistance programs.

What is "Current Publications by Title"?
The current FSA publications page looks very similar to the 'Archived Publications by Title' page. However, the "current" page only includes the most recent publications. Current FSA Publications are those generated within the most recent three years. In this case, "Year" can be defined as Calendar or Award Year.

What is "Archived Publications by Title"?
The archived FSA publications page looks very similar to the 'Current Publications by Title' page. However, the "archived" page only includes "older", non-current publications. Generally, any FSA publication that was generated more than three years (calendar or award) ago is considered "archived".

What is "Publications by Topic"?
The publications by topic option allows you to search for documents by specific program area: Pell, Direct Loans, etc…. If you do not know which publication to reference, start here. The topical listing is intended to function like the "catalog" in the library.

Where can I find attachments in Publications?
Attachments in publications are generally positioned at the top of the page. The detailed description of the attachment is generally positioned at the end of the publication. If unable to locate the attachment or its description, you may contact the FSA Customer Service Call Center (CSCC) toll-free at 1-800-433-7327.

Does IFAP have a Secure Area?
The IFAP web site is fully accessible to the general public. The "Member Services" area of the IFAP web site is a value added service offered to our customers. Click here to reference FSA's Privacy Policy.

What browsers does IFAP support?
Currently, the IFAP web site is designed to support Netscape Navigator/Communicator version 4.6 and above, and Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.0 and above as well as support the Lynx text browser. It is also recommended that JavaScript support be turned on to work properly. Click here to download the latest versions of these browsers.

How do I print from IFAP?
The steps for printing any pages from the IFAP web site are as follows:
  1. Use your browser's Print function. This will allow for all visible objects to be printed
  2. or
  3. Use the Copy and Paste method. Copy the text you are interested in, and Paste it into any other application (email, word processing)
What can I do to refresh graphic images on a page?
The presentation of graphic images on a page varies by browser. On occasion you may need to use the "Refresh" button of the browser to update information on the page.

What should I do if a document link does not work?
On the rare occasion where you encounter a document link that is not working use the Customer Feedback option on top of the IFAP Home Page. Please ensure that you note the document link or page where you encountered the problem in the "Comments" area. Or you may contact the FSA Customer Service Call Center (CSCC) toll-free at 1-800-433-7327 with the problem.

Other issues
Problems using email links: If your email account has not been set up, or if you are not using Outlook email, you will get an error message such as "Your email address has not been specified" when you click on an email link.

What do I do if I forgot my username/password?

If you forget your username or password, contact the FSA Customer Service Call Center (CSCC) toll-free at 1-800-433-7327 or email us.

Can I change my user information?
Yes, the member's area has been enhanced to allow most user information to be updated. Only your name cannot be updated.

Can I change my subscription information?
Yes, members can update their subscription to receive notices of new publications. This can be done for each publication type.

Search Hints
  • The IFAP Search program works best when you enter a natural language query. For example, if you are looking for information on obtaining a Pell Grant, just enter information on obtaining a Pell Grant in the box. You do not need to use Boolean keywords (AND, OR, and NOT).
  • If you wish to use Boolean keywords, you may. Boolean keywords must be entered in uppercase.

Search Information
Welcome to IFAP Search Help. IFAP supports both Boolean and Natural Language searches. You do not need to specify which type the search is, the search engine is smart enough to figure out the type of search.
  • Boolean Search
    A Boolean search is a keyword search. The keywords are separated by Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT). The Boolean operators must be in uppercase.
    Some examples:
    financial AND aid
    (student AND loan) NOT pell
  • Minimum Threshold
    A number that is used to specify how close a match is needed for the document to be deemed worthwhile and be returned in the result set. The higher this number, the more closely the information in the documents will match your query. As the threshold increases, the number of results decreases. This is because there will be too few documents to make the threshold cutoff.
  • Natural Language Search
    The IFAP search engine has a powerful natural language search capability. Simply enter the subject you are seeking, and the search engine will extract the meaning from the query and find documents related to your query. Using Boolean operators is not necessary. This is the preferred method of querying.
    Some examples:
    Information on obtaining Pell Grants
    Financial aid for college
    Recertification documentation and applications
  • Number Of Results
    A number specifying how many documents scored high enough to be returned based on your query. This is directly affected by the Minimum Threshold setting, the number of documents in a database, matching documents, and how many results may have been selected to be returned (Advanced Search Option).
  • FSA Search
    The Search Engine used by IFAP web site uses natural language queries. This allows for faster and more precise searching. As such, Boolean keywords such as AND, OR, and NOT are not needed.
  • Show Short Summary
    When selected for displaying results, this will give a brief description of the article a few sentences long.
  • Suggest?
    An ability to recommend other documents based on one that is chosen. It uses that document's internal weights and items internal to the search engine to find related documents. It is analogous to "If you like this document, then you might like these too."
  • Weight
    The relevance of the result compared to what was submitted for the query. By using a combination of word count, proximity, occurrence and other attributes of words in a document, a score is derived. The higher the score the better the match should should be.

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