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Next Gen FSA: Improvements to the Student, Parent, and Borrower Experience

Latest Next Gen FSA News

In December 2017, we announced the Next Gen Federal Student Aid (Next Gen FSA) initiative, which takes big steps toward improving the way students, parent, and borrowers interact with and access the benefits of the programs administered by Federal Student Aid.

In late December 2019, the first big launch of Next Gen FSA implementation kicked off with the consolidation of multiple websites into a single, digital front door: StudentAid.gov. As a result, students, parents, and borrowers can access all the information and tools they previously used, but through an improved interface.

In the video "The Digital Future of Federal Student Aid," we describe what students and borrowers can expect from Next Gen FSA in the future.

Improvements to Help Customers Manage Their Loans and Grants

We made a lot of progress in 2020—and we are looking forward to going even further in 2021. Our goal is to make the web and mobile experience more intuitive and provide customers with a variety of tools to help them manage their student aid journey.

To meet this goal, we give customers easy-to-understand, timely information at critical points along the way.

On Feb. 21, 2021, we released streamlined and personalized enhancements to the entrance and exit counseling processes on StudentAid.gov. We also added a Spanish borrower defense form and added features to the myStudentAid mobile app.

Entrance Counseling

New to entrance counseling are simplified, easy-to-understand learning modules that are now integrated with College Scorecard. This integration helps to estimate customers' debt and salary after graduation so they can make informed decisions about their education and loans. They can also see what their loan payments might look like under different repayment plans. And, they will be able to download or print a summary of their entrance counseling session.

Exit Counseling

The enhanced exit counseling process includes personalized loan information about their specific loan balances, repayment options, and obligations. It also features a tool to simulate the impact of using different repayment plans, as well as a summary of the next steps toward repayment.

Spanish Borrower Defense to Repayment Application

The Borrower Defense to Repayment Application is now available in Spanish. The form will help them submit a borrower defense application based on when and where they were enrolled in school. It also provides information about what circumstances can lead to a borrower defense discharge and the impact of an application on their loan repayment journey.

Once they submit a borrower defense application, they can view its status in Spanish in the Status Center, which can be accessed when they log in to their dashboard.

myStudentAid Mobile App Enhancements

On the myStudentAid mobile app, they can now

  • check the status of their feedback cases and borrower defense applications, view case details, upload documents, and add messages to their cases and applications within the Status Center;
  • view completed documents, correspondence, and disclosures (e.g., your Master Promissory Note) as well as confirmation of completed processes (e.g., the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment); and
  • find contact information to get answers to their questions.

Federal Student Aid Website URL Redirect List

As part of the Next Gen initiative, the StudentLoans.gov and former StudentAid.ed.gov web pages are now being redirected to the new pages on StudentAid.gov so as not to disrupt the student, parent, and borrower experience. View a comprehensive list of all the old and new links. This list will be updated on an ongoing basis as other Federal Student Aid website content and functionality are consolidated into StudentAid.gov.

All former URLs will be redirected to the new location except outdated ones. It is strongly recommended that webmasters and content owners of external websites linking to FSA websites update the URLs so their websites will not be adversely affected for the future updates and upgrades.

Resources for Reference and Outreach

You may find the resources below useful as you prepare to help students, parents, and borrowers with the new site.

  • Next Gen StudentAid.gov Walkthrough and Coming Attractions: FSA Conference Session video—In early December 2019, FSA provided an overview of our plans for a new digital platform which combines four websites (StudentLoans.gov, StudentAid.gov, FSA ID, and NSLDS) along with their corresponding functionalities. FSA described specific features to highlight the improved experience for our students and borrowers. View the session's PowerPoint slides.
  • Next Gen FSA Sample Tweet—Sample tweet with video describing what students and borrowers can expect from Next Gen FSA in this newest release and in coming months. Retweet to share information with the students, borrowers, and parents who follow you.
  • Next Gen FSA Sample Facebook Post—Sample Facebook post with video describing what students and borrowers can expect from Next Gen FSA in this newest release and in coming months. Share with students, borrowers, and parents.

February 23, 2021