News Release, U.S. Department of Education
WASHINGTON — Delivering on U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ promise to modernize and personalize the customer experience with federal student aid, the Education Department announced today transformative upgrades to StudentAid.gov. The updated website now features new tools, which provide students with detailed information about the grants and loans they have received and guide them to a personalized recommendation for a loan repayment plan. Federal Student Aid (FSA) also launched a pilot that allows a subset of the office’s 42 million borrowers, for the first time ever, to make student loan payments directly on StudentAid.gov.
These updates compliment the President’s fiscal year 2021 budget proposal, which includes calls to simplify student loan types, amounts, and repayment options and provide customers with access to an online portal with personalized information to help them easily understand their options and make informed decisions throughout the financial aid life cycle.
“Students deserve to be treated like the unique and valued customers they are,” said Secretary DeVos. “Congress created a cumbersome and confusing web of loan and repayment options, but we continue to make great strides at FSA in providing borrowers with more detailed, personalized, and actionable information so they can take control of financing their education. Whether it’s launching the first-ever myStudentAid mobile app, updating the College Scorecard with previously unavailable data, or now offering a set of personalized tools for better student loan information, we have continued to do better by students and families.”
These enhancements are the first of several upgrades to the website that will roll out this year.
- The new Aid Summary feature allows customers to see specific information for each grant and loan they have received, including the type, date received, repayment plan, and interest rate. Customers can use this tool to track their remaining eligibility for William D. Ford Direct Loans and Federal Pell Grants. Borrowers will also be able to see their progress toward repaying their loans, receive alerts about their account, and track the number of qualifying payments they have made toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
- The Loan Simulator helps borrowers chart a course to successful repayment by allowing them to compare options. The tool combines information entered by borrowers, such as earnings and family composition, with loan data provided by FSA to develop a personalized repayment strategy. Borrowers can use the simulator to compare repayment plans and test-drive which plan provides them with the lowest monthly payment, fastest payoff term, or the lowest amount paid overall.
- Borrowers whose federally managed loans are in repayment and assigned to servicers Great Lakes or Nelnet can now participate in the Make a Payment pilot. This pilot program allows borrowers to schedule upcoming monthly payments right on StudentAid.gov. Eventually, all Direct Loan borrowers will be able to repay their loans through StudentAid.gov.
“We’re delivering on the promise of access to higher education to our nation’s students and their families,” said Mark A. Brown, FSA chief operating officer. “We are on a journey, and today’s news is just the beginning of what’s to come.”
Today’s rollout is part of the Next Gen FSA initiative, launched by Secretary DeVos to bring the federal student aid process and organization into the 21st century.