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Enhancements to StudentAid.gov Now Available

We made substantial progress this year to improve the way you interact with and access the benefits of the programs available through StudentAid.gov. The most recent improvements include updates to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Help Tool, new customer surveys, and enhancements to the income-driven repayment (IDR) plan application, Loan Simulator, and our virtual assistant.

Limited Waiver Opportunity in the PSLF Help Tool

The PSLF Help Tool has been updated to include additional guidance about the limited PSLF waiver opportunity. The PSLF Help Tool helps borrowers determine their eligibility for the program, make changes to get or stay eligible, and populate forms with accurate information. The tool also features an employer database and the combined PSLF form.

On Oct. 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a change to the PSLF program rules that, for a limited time, may allow borrowers to get credit for payments they have made on loans that wouldn't normally qualify for PSLF. With the November 2021 updates to the PSLF Help Tool, borrowers are now able to use the tool based on the limited PSLF waiver criteria and get more details about next steps and how to take advantage of this opportunity.

Improved User Experience via Customer Surveys

We'll now offer surveys across StudentAid.gov and the myStudentAid mobile app and give you the opportunity to provide feedback that'll help us improve your experience.

The customer surveys—which will launch by Nov. 24—will be in the footer on StudentAid.gov and in the menu on the mobile app. After completing counseling or submitting applications and online forms, you'll have the option to answer a few short questions about your experience. On other pages, we'll offer pop-up surveys to assess your satisfaction with StudentAid.gov and the myStudentAid mobile app.

You'll also be offered surveys within email messages and after you interact with one of our contact centers.

Self-Certification for the IDR Plan Application, Enhanced Loan Simulator, and Improved Virtual Assistant

We've made additional improvements to StudentAid.gov and the myStudentAid mobile app, including the following:

  • The income-driven repayment (IDR) plan application has been adjusted to allow some borrowers to self-report their income without having to provide tax documents. This option is available to borrowers who have only Direct Loans. The IDR plan application will guide borrowers and let them know if they can self-certify or not.
  • In response to customer feedback, Loan Simulator was enhanced to provide students with specific repayment details if they enter a desired monthly payment amount that is higher than what is required under any of the repayment plans. And in the "Borrow More" module, an alert will display if students have a loan in default impacting the amount of federal aid they can receive.
  • Aidan®, our virtual assistant, can now answer even more questions about loan servicer account transfers and the Federal Student Aid Estimator.

November 22, 2021