Mapping Your Future: enhancements to help students, parents, and borrowers

Newsroom enhancements to help students, parents, and borrowers

By Catherine Mueller

May 18, 2023

Students and parents may notice some improvements this spring to the Department of Education's website.

In a May 8 Electronic Announcement, the Department of Education outlined changes that were made to the website to improve the information and self-service tools available to customers.

The Department said the updates “continue Federal Student Aid’s (FSA’s) commitment to improve customer experiences and outcomes through ongoing modernization of our technology, tools, and resources.”

The Department said it has made the following enhancements:

  • PSLF Help Tool: Digital Signature and Submission – Borrowers can now complete the PSLF process entirely online. Before, they had to print out their PSLF form to sign it and get their employer's signature. With this release, borrowers can use to sign and submit their PSLF form online, send requests to their employer to sign their PSLF form digitally, and track the status of their PSLF form.
  • Loan Simulator – Borrowers can now compare repayment plans more easily using Loan Simulator. When they compare plans, they'll see the estimated monthly payment and the estimated total they'd pay under each plan. The Department said they’ve also made it easier to review and understand the potential advantages and disadvantages and the estimated forgiveness amount for each plan.
  • PLUS Loan Application – The Department has updated the online Direct PLUS Loan application so borrowers can see clearly the next steps based on the results of the credit check. The Department has also revised the online application to make it easier to use and understand.
  • Aidan®, Our Virtual Assistant – With this update, the Department said it has made it easier to get PSLF information through Aidan. Now borrowers can ask Aidan for the status of their PSLF application and related PSLF information. Aidan can also now provide info about the Fresh Start Program.

The Department said, throughout 2023, it will continue to add tools and enhance current features to improve customer understanding of and interactions with the Title IV programs. Details about new tools and features will be provided in forthcoming Electronic Announcements posted on the FSA Partner Connect Knowledge Center.