Federal Student Aid Strategic Plan FY 2011-15

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U.S. Department of Education

Federal Student Aid, a division of the Department of Education, has developed five strategic goals to be implemented in the FY 2011 and future budgets in order to complement the president’s goal for the United States to be the world leader in college completion by 2020. The objectives are designed to serve students and families better, and counteract the combined effect of rising costs of postsecondary education and the dwindling number of private student loan funders.

The five goals include providing better support and information to borrowers, promoting better quality service to students “from policy to delivery,” establishing “efficient process and effective capabilities” to accomplish these goals, protecting taxpayers’ money, and developing the FSA into an enviable workplace. Greater detail is provided about the practical ways in which the FSA hopes to achieve these goals. The authors acknowledge that the plan is subject to change due to unforeseen risks, from natural disasters to alteration of the political and economic climate, that would shift the FSA’s immediate responsibilities.

The report also pinpoints five national trends that likely will affect the amount of aid necessary and available to students within the next five years. These include the rising cost of school attendance and an expected increase in overall enrollment, particularly of “non-traditional” students in non-traditional programs, from distance-learning classes to two-year institutions. Almost 13 million students and their families received federal financial support in FY 2009 through either grants or federal loan programs.

In addition, the FSA has revised its mission statement and core values for FY 2010, hoping “to be the most trusted and reliable source of student financial aid, information and services in the nation” through the promotion of “integrity, customer service, excellence, respect, stewardship, and teamwork.”

Free, 40 pages, http://federalstudentaid.ed.gov/static/gw/docs/FiveYearPlan_2011.pdf.