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Secretary Cardona Outlines Steps to Modernizing the Office of Federal Student Aid

The following message was posted today on the Education Department’s Homeroom blog.

In a letter sent to all staff today, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona outlined comprehensive steps the Department is taking to improve Federal Student Aid (FSA) for students, families, borrowers, and schools. These efforts will ensure FSA works better and addresses ongoing management and operational challenges. Specifically, the Department is taking the following steps:

  • Searching for a new Chief Operating Officer (COO) for FSA.

  • Conducting a full-scale review of FSA’s current and historical organization, management, staffing, workflow structures, business processes, and operations to continue bringing the federal financial aid system into the 21st century.

  • Hired an independent consulting firm to make recommendations to the COO and the Secretary on ways to improve the design, structure, and processes within FSA, with a focus on building an updated organizational structure and workflow.
  • Reviewing contracts and acquisition procedures to ensure contracts are appropriately structured to hold vendors accountable for meeting key deadlines, achieving desired outcomes, providing the best value to the agency, and protecting taxpayers’ resources.

  • The Department is also restructuring senior leader reporting protocols to increase accountability and make sure we provide the best value to the agency and protect taxpayers’ resources.

  • The Department will also create a new IT innovation team empowered to lead information technology design to support the digital transformation of the organization. This new team will oversee the recruitment of top engineers, project managers, and designers who will bring critical information technology expertise and experience to strengthen FSA’s work in this area.

  • Seeking input from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and engaging Members of Congress, whose constituents receive services from FSA.

  • Continuing our robust outreach efforts to parents, students, colleges, and community organizations, and conduct listening sessions with them this summer.

The Secretary’s full letter to staff is available to read on the Department’s website.