Federal Student Aid’s (FSA’s) mission is to keep the promise of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, by providing access to an affordable, high-quality postsecondary education to all who seek it. In keeping with this promise, two years ago FSA announced an initiative called Next Gen FSA to improve the way all our customers, including students, parents, borrowers, schools, and partners, interact with and manage the programs administered by Federal Student Aid. Next Gen will also modernize the way FSA operates by updating systems and tools to meet our customers where they are.
This announcement details some of the upcoming changes our customers can expect in the coming months.
Consolidating Websites into StudentAid.gov
During the weekend of December 21-22, 2019, we plan to consolidate the current functionality of StudentAid.gov, StudentLoans.gov, FSAID.ed.gov, and some components of NSLDS® Student Access (NSLDS.ed.gov) under one umbrella website which will be an enhanced version of StudentAid.gov. All of the functionality of StudentLoans.gov will be available under the new StudentAid.gov, and all existing pages will be redirected to new pages so as not to disrupt the borrower experience. We also plan to add messaging on StudentLoans.gov and StudentAid.gov so that visitors are made aware of the change. FSAID.ed.gov and NSLDS Student Access will remain operational in the short term. Note: We recognize the change to all StudentLoans.gov web links will impact school websites and materials. There will be redirects in place at the time of consolidation, and we will provide further operational guidance in forthcoming Electronic Announcements in early 2020.
Research we conducted on common pain points experienced by our customers revealed that many users find FSA’s multiple, inconsistently branded websites confusing and frustrating. Consolidating the most-visited customer-facing sites helps address this pain point, creating a single, digital front door through which all FSA information and services can be found. Along with launching this single front door, StudentAid.gov will also include an updated interface that puts important information up front and provides more intuitive access to information.
Additional Tools Available Beginning in Early 2020
We posted a video last week with more detail on what students, parents, and borrowers can expect from Next Gen FSA in the future. As we move forward in 2020, additional tools will be introduced to improve our customers’ understanding of the aid programs and benefits. Eventually, borrowers will be able to repay their loans through StudentAid.gov.
Once the full consolidation is complete, our customers will use just one website to manage every aspect of their federal aid.
These improvements are the early steps on a journey toward building a better aid delivery system for all our communities. In the near future, we plan to post two training videos for financial aid administrators. These will be made available on the Federal Student Aid E-Training website, located at https://fsatraining.ed.gov. Further details will be provided in a forthcoming Training Announcement that will be posted on the IFAP website. Additional information about the Next Gen FSA initiative will also be provided through Electronic Announcements, 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.