The Digital Future of Federal Student Aid


The Digital Future of Federal Student Aid Today, students, parents, and borrowers must access multiple websites, mobile apps, and resources to manage their student aid. Confused by complex information and a disjointed experience, many Federal Student Aid customers feel frustrated. Some may even abandon the student aid application and repayment processes completely. Meanwhile, students and their families may commit to schools and take out student loans without knowing all their options and understanding how each option can impact their future. To alleviate these challenges, we are simplifying the experience of applying for, managing, and repaying federal student aid. Our customer-driven redesign spans across all phases of the financial aid journey and will be implemented over time. Prepare A new digital experience will provide a single front door so that students, parents, and borrowers will be able to manage and track all aspects of federal student aid in one place without needing to log in to different websites using different usernames and passwords. An intuitive, connected, and mobile friendly experience allows customers to access their grant and student loan information, along with loan repayment details all in one place. Robust data about the average school cost and earning potential of other students in a particular program of study will help students compare different schools make informed decisions and plan for repayment success. The FAFSA form offers an improved experience through a roles-based solution for students and parents. Customers will identify themselves in a way that allows for customization of the questions and language used in the application process. Receive Our informed borrower tools enable customers to forecast the impacts of their student loan balances and see how much aid eligibility they have left. Additional informed borrower tools ensure customers are actively informed as they reach critical points of their financial aid journey, such as entrance counseling and completion of the Master Promissory Note. Strategize As customers begin to repay their loans, the loan simulator allows them to “test drive” personalized scenarios, set repayment goals and develop an informed financial strategy. Customer data will drive improvements to exit counseling, repayment plan information, and auto-debit enrollment to generate personalized plans based on customer goals. Repay An enhanced public service loan forgiveness tool will provide customers with easy-to-use information about their eligibility and application requirements. The online experience will also include autofill capabilities for the PSLF Employment Certification Form, digital signatures, real-time guidance on eligibility and requirements, in-progress warnings about potential inaccuracies, and the option to sign up for text message reminders A new feature provides customers with quick, easy, and secure options to view loan balances, make payments, set up and save payment methods, and make one-time payments across mobile, desktop, and the virtual assistant. Our effort involves more than enhancing tools and our customers’ experience. We are also investing in the people and resources to provide exceptional service and support our customers throughout the financial aid process. With a single customer record, we will be able to provide enhanced support for customers on our website, at our contact centers, and through direct communications. A virtual assistant will help customers quickly answer hundreds of federal student aid questions. A single 1-800 phone number for students, parents, and borrowers, 1-800-4-FED-AID, will streamline customer communication through one contact center entry point. Over time, customers will continue to experience new, intuitive tools that will increase satisfaction and help drive more informed decisions. StudentAid.gov

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