By: Chief Operating Officer Mark Brown, Federal Student Aid
Hi. I’m Mark Brown, the chief operating officer at Federal Student Aid (FSA). Today marks my first post on the Homeroom blog, and do I have exciting news for you!
StudentAid.gov—your trusted source to learn about, apply for, and manage your federal student aid—is all new and better than ever! Let me explain …
Each year, FSA’s top-four websites are visited more than 120 million times. These sites offer a wide variety of information, tools, and resources:
- StudentAid.gov provides information and videos about all of the federal student aid programs.
- Borrowers go to StudentLoans.gov to complete loan documents and counseling, as well as recertify for income-driven repayment plans.
- At fsaid.ed.gov, students, parents, and borrowers can create an account username and password to log in to U.S. Department of Education systems.
- The NSLDS® website provides students, parents, and borrowers with specific information about their federal grants and loans and eligibility.
Now, the new StudentAid.gov combines functionality from StudentLoans.gov, fsaid.ed.gov, and nslds.ed.gov into a single, one-stop shop for you. Think of it like a new “digital front door,” welcoming you to learn all about and manage your federal student aid.
When you visit the new StudentAid.gov, you’ll more clearly see information about the federal student aid you’ve received. You can now complete multiple tasks, like learning about what types of aid are available to you, filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form, completing loan counseling, and finding the right repayment plan for your situation.
Some students, parents, and borrowers will be introduced to a virtual assistant named “Aidan.” Get it? Aidan? We’re thrilled to pilot this digital resource that uses artificial intelligence to learn how we can better help you get answers to some of your most frequently asked questions. As Aidan learns and is able to answer more specific questions, we’ll roll it out to even more customers.
We’re also implementing some behind-the-scenes features that will improve the way we deliver personalized information and solutions to you. When you’re logged into the new StudentAid.gov, we’ll be able to directly provide you with information about your federal student loan application.
We’re not stopping there! Now, you only have to call one number—1-800-4-FED-AID—to be connected to all of FSA’s contact centers. And, we’ve made enhancements to our mobile app, myStudentAid, so you can seamlessly switch between completing tasks on the mobile app and web.
We’re making all of these improvements for you, the students, parents, and borrowers, we’re proud to serve. These and other enhancements are part of a big initiative we call “Next Gen FSA,” where we’re modernizing and simplifying how you interact with your federal student aid.
I know how important it is that we get this right for you. I come from a working-class family. My mother and I tried to figure out the best way to get money for college. Through a combination of federal student loans and grants, along with help from the United States Air Force, I was able to pursue my educational dreams.
At FSA, we’re committed to helping you pursue yours. That’s a promise we intend to keep, and today is a big step in our journey.
Throughout the next year in this “Keeping the Promise” blog series, I’ll update you about our Next Gen FSA progress. Until then, I invite you to check out the new StudentAid.gov, and let me know what you think.