On Nov. 29, 2017, Dr. A. Wayne Johnson, chief operating officer of the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid (FSA), announced the Next Generation (Next Gen) Financial Services Environment, which will modernize the technology and operational components that support the federal student aid programs. 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.
Here are the highlights of the planned improvements:
- Spring 2018—FSA will launch its mobile platform to allow students and parents to complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form on a mobile device
- 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 website; this integration also will let FAFSA applicants switch seamlessly between mobile and web while filling out the application, enabling students and parents to apply for financial aid wherever they are and on a device of their choosing
- TBD—FSA eventually will consolidate all of its customer-facing websites into a single, user-friendly hub to complement the new mobile platform and give students, parents, and borrowers a seamless experience from application through repayment
- Ongoing—FSA is researching dozens of world-class financial services customer experiences from web and mobile to middleware, data processing, analytics, storage, and hosting capabilities; through this market research, FSA is refining its strategy to develop and implement a new loan servicing platform to benefit federal student loan borrowers