Chatbots, Loan Simulators, and a Stand-Alone FSA — ED Reveals Ambitious Plans at Annual Training Conference – NASFAA
Kicking off the first day of the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) Training Conference in Reno, Nevada, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told a room full of financial aid professionals that FSA would function better as a stand-alone agency, arguing that its “mission is to serve students and their families, but its structure is set up to serve politicians and their policies.” Following her opening remarks, FSA Chief Operating Officer Mark Brown unveiled a handful of forthcoming online tools for student borrowers and financial aid administrators.
“One has to wonder, why isn’t FSA a stand-alone government corporation, run by a professional, expert, and apolitical Board of Governors?” DeVos asked the crowd Tuesday. “A separate FSA would be better positioned to deliver world-class service to students and their families as they finance higher education. It would manage the student loan portfolio and work to secure its financial strength and sustainability. And it would do all the things it’s been charged to do — only far better.”
During her speech, DeVos cited a NASFAA white paper that proposed structural changes to help FSA fulfill its mission as a performance-based organization (PBO), such as creating an oversight board that reports directly to the public, the secretary of education, and Congress. NASFAA did not recommend a stand-alone agency.