Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has announced the formation of a new office within the Department of Education that will be tasked with “advancing the Next Generation Processing and Servicing Environment and bringing the customer servicing capabilities of FSA into the 21st century,” according to a statement released late Thursday.
The new Strategy and Transformation Office will be a tool for “making the student financial aid experience provided by the federal government much better for students, and more responsible on behalf of U.S. taxpayers,” the department said. The new office will exist in parallel with a current department agency, the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA).
To solidify that relationship, A. Wayne Johnson will move from his position atop FSA to lead the STO. Education Undersecretary James Manning, meanwhile, will take over FSA.
A modernization effort has been in the works for months, as DeVos announced plans in November to give the federal student aid application process a makeover and roll out a mobile application. The FAFSA modernization — along with the mobile app, which DeVos said will be made available this spring — falls under the purview of the FSA.