Apply for a PIN number with the U.S. Department of Education. Students and parents should both apply for their own PIN. If you or your parents have a PIN from a previous year, please use that. If you have forgotten your PIN, the Department of Education site listed above will help you retrieve it. You will use this PIN every year you apply for financial aid. The PIN is also used to complete Master Promissory Notes and Entrance Counseling for Federal Loans.