Department of Education Deploys Federal Personnel | FAFSA®

Department of Education Deploys Federal Personnel

The U.S. Department of Education announced the launch of its FAFSA College Support Strategy on February 5, 2024, aimed at enhancing the support system for colleges, students, and families by providing additional federal personnel, financial resources, and technological tools. This initiative is designed to assist in the efficient and accurate completion and processing of the improved FAFSA form, facilitating better access to financial aid and making higher education more attainable for Americans. Since the introduction of the 2024–25 FAFSA form on December 30, over 3.6 million applications have been submitted successfully.

Key components of this strategy include the deployment of federal experts to aid colleges, especially those with fewer resources, in preparing and processing financial aid applications; allocating federal funds to support technical assistance for these institutions; and releasing new tools and data to expedite the processing of student records and financial aid packages. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona emphasized the transformative nature of the Better FAFSA and the commitment to ensuring its success.

The support will focus particularly on colleges with limited resources, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, tribal colleges, and universities, by providing them with direct access to financial aid experts through a new concierge service and ongoing support to prepare and deliver aid packages. Additionally, $50 million in federal funding will be directed to non-profit organizations that specialize in financial aid services to further assist under-resourced colleges.

To further assist colleges in preparing for the FAFSA process, the Department will release test versions of institutional student financial aid information records (ISIRs) and update resources to improve FAFSA completion rates and the user experience. Notably, the Department has started providing data on FAFSA submissions by high school, aiding high schools in encouraging their students to apply. A new resource offering tips for completing the FAFSA form has also been launched at StudentAid.gov/fafsatips, aiming to streamline the application process for the 2024–25 academic year.

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