U.S. Department of Education Announces Vision to Transform Federal Student Aid, Improve Customer Service
Today, the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) took an important next step in fulfilling the promise of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to transform the delivery of financial aid to millions of students and their families.
To an audience of more than five thousand financial aid professionals from around the world, Dr. A. Wayne Johnson, chief operating officer of the Department's office of Federal Student Aid (FSA), announced the blueprint for FSA's Next Generation (Next Gen) Financial Services Environment. This new approach will modernize the technology and operational components that support federal student aid programs from application through repayment. Students, parents and borrowers will begin seeing meaningful improvements in the customer experience in early 2018 with significant technology and operational infrastructure changes throughout 2019.
"This overhaul is long overdue," said Secretary DeVos. "Students and their families should be treated like the valued customers they are and should have access to the tools needed for success. Today's announcement is a significant first step in our commitment to improving the experiences students, parents and borrowers have with FSA and in bringing federal student aid programs into the 21st century."
In spring 2018, FSA will launch its mobile platform, which will allow students and parents to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form on a mobile phone. In fall 2018, fafsa.gov will be integrated into StudentAid.gov, making it easier than ever to apply for financial aid directly from FSA's leading online portal. This integration also will allow FAFSA applicants to switch seamlessly between mobile and web, enabling students and their families to apply for financial aid wherever they are and on the device of their choice.
Eventually, FSA will consolidate all of its customer-facing websites into a single, integrated and user-friendly online platform to provide students, parents and borrowers a consistent and seamless experience from application through repayment.
To address future loan servicing needs, FSA is in the process of researching how world-class financial services organizations design and operationalize their customer service engagement practices, as well as web and mobile, middleware, data processing, analytics, storage and hosting capabilities. Through this market research, FSA is refining its strategy to implement the Next Gen Processing and Servicing Environment.
"The Next Gen Financial Services Environment will mark a new milestone in the evolution of federal student aid," said Dr. Johnson. "FSA's more than 40 million customers deserve a world-class experience. Without question, the future of FSA is upon us."
FSA anticipates issuing one or more solicitations in the first quarter of 2018 focused on account processing and loan servicing.