Forward progress continues on the Next Gen FSA initiative and StudentAid.gov, our single front door on the web for students, parents, and borrowers. On April 26, 2020, we introduced additional features designed to promote financial literacy and improve the information and self-service tools available to our customers. The new features provide students, parents, and borrowers with clear, actionable information about the aid they have received and personalized guidance on the loan repayment process.
This announcement summarizes new and updated features that are now available.
New StudentAid.gov Features
On April 26, 2020, we added the following features to the StudentAid.gov website—
Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement – The Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement is a new feature intended to educate borrowers about the impact of receiving a federal student loan. In this feature, student and parent borrowers can view how much they currently owe in federal loans, see their progress toward their aggregate loan and grant limits (if applicable), receive helpful tips on smart borrowing, and acknowledge that they have reviewed their information. New borrowers will be provided with educational content on borrowing and interest, and they will be able to leverage College Scorecard information to estimate potential total borrowing and future income for their program of study. While available to borrowers as of April 26, the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgement is not required for loans disbursed for the 2020–21 Award Year.
Please see our March 27, 2020 Electronic Announcement for more information about the acknowledgement.
Feedback Center – The Federal Student Aid Feedback System (now called the Feedback Center) has been integrated with StudentAid.gov. With the April release, customers can submit a complaint, report an issue, and provide positive feedback within the StudentAid.gov website. In addition, customers can check on a case through the Status Center. The Feedback Center can be accessed directly at StudentAid.gov/feedback.
Status Center – The Status Center is a new feature where authenticated customers can view the status of their submitted feedback cases. Customers also can upload documentation, add messages to their case for an email response by a customer service representative, and complete a survey for closed cases. Customers can access the Status Center from their personalized dashboard or from the Feedback Center. Over time, additional enhancements will be made to the Status Center to provide information on additional forms and applications, such as Borrower Defense applications.
Updates to StudentAid.gov
Loan Simulator Enhancements – Loan Simulator, which initially launched in February, has been enhanced to include additional functionality. Customers struggling to make payments on their student loans can evaluate their options, which include temporarily stopping or reducing their monthly payments. In addition, Loan Simulator added two new repayment goals that allow borrowers to choose if they want to pay off their debt by a specific date or specify their monthly payment amount. These options provide a more robust set of goals that customers can use to find a repayment plan that best meets their needs.
Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) Updates – The MPN process has been updated to align with the overall design of the StudentAid.gov website, using the latest approved form. We used this opportunity to include some improvements to the existing form, including an update to the MPN landing page that makes it clearer for customers to determine which MPN they need to complete.
FSA ID Enhancements – Customers who are creating an account (FSA ID) are now directed to a landing page that provides clear information on who should create an account and what information they will need to provide. The user interface has also been improved to make accessing account information even easier for our customers.
Notification Center Enhancements – The Notification Center was updated to provide customers with the ability to see their notification history, view unread notifications, and dismiss notifications. Notifications were added for income-driven repayment plan recertification, aid overpayments, and TEACH Grant reconsideration. Later this year, we will add notifications for loans in default and for upcoming and posted student loan payments for borrowers serviced by Great Lakes or Nelnet (as part of the Make a Payment pilot).
Additional Tools and Features Available Throughout 2020
Throughout calendar year 2020, additional tools and features will be introduced to improve our customers’ understanding of and interactions with the Title IV aid programs. Details about new tools and features will be provided in forthcoming Electronic Announcements posted on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website. We will also share information about the Next Gen FSA initiative through partner emails, social media posts, and targeted outreach campaigns to ensure everyone knows what to expect going forward.
We appreciate your patience and support as we implement the Next Gen FSA initiative.