New features on FAFSA form, app

Photo: AACC

The U.S. Education Department (ED) has added some new features to its online student aid application form and mobile app that it says will make applying for federal assistance easier, faster and more intuitive.

Among the changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and myStudentAid mobile app:

  • The fafsa.gov website has been synchronized with the myStudentAid mobile app’s myFAFSA component, allowing customers to switch easily between the online FAFSA form and the myStudentAid mobile app, picking up where they left off in the other platforms.
  • Students and parents who submit a FAFSA form can view their Student Aid Report (SAR) via the mobile app’s myFAFSA feature. The SAR contains the expected family contribution, which schools use to determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid.
  • Changes to the signature process in myFAFSA make it easier and clearer. The mobile app now also features checklists to guide students and parents through the next steps in the student aid process. Families also can sign up for push notifications in the app to receive important reminders and updates from the department related to federal student aid.

Other changes on the way

By year’s end, ED will pilot a myFSApay account that will allow students at participating colleges to receive their credit balance refunds.

The department also in the coming months will launch a new “digital front door” for students and parents that will consolidate multiple customer-facing websites into one platform. In addition, it will introduce more personalized communications, as well as enhanced financial literacy tools and resources to better inform students and parents about their federal student loans.

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