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Enhancements to StudentAid.gov Now Available
We continue to make progress in our efforts to improve the way you interact with and access the benefits of the programs. The most recent enhancements include updates to the Direct PLUS Loan Application, our virtual assistant, Loan Simulator, and the Direct Consolidation Loan Application.
Additions to the Direct PLUS Loan Application
The Direct PLUS Loan Application is available to graduate students, professional students, and parents to apply for Direct PLUS Loans. Direct PLUS Loans can be used to pay for tuition, fees, room and board, and other education-related charges.
With this release, the online Direct PLUS Loan applications for parents and graduate students have been updated to
- include a "Learn About Loan Fees" section that gives applicants information about loan fees and their impact on the loan amount,
- guide the applicant through a tool to calculate loan origination fees and how much to borrow, and
- ask parent applicants to indicate their relationship to the student.
Aidan® is a virtual assistant that can answer common questions about federal student aid by using advanced technology to evaluate customers' requests and guide them to the correct information and resources.
This release improves how Aidan supports customers in three areas:
1.FSA ID (account username and password): Aidan can help customers who receive error messages while creating a StudentAid.gov account and provide information about how to troubleshoot common errors related to Social Security numbers.
2.Income-driven repayment (IDR) plans : Aidan can answer questions about IDR plans and give customers IDR recertification information, including messaging about IDR recertification anniversary dates.
3.Status of applications: Aidan can respond to customers' questions about the status of nine different applications, including the FAFSA® form, IDR plan, and loan consolidation application. This enhancement will offer customers an alternative to calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center and speaking with a customer service representative.
Other new enhancements to StudentAid.gov include
- an updated Direct Consolidation Loan Application that also offers an online demo and English and Spanish PDF versions of the form; and
- improved Loan Simulator functionality, including an added tooltip about Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
March 28, 2022