FAFSA.gov Launches Mobile-Friendly Redesign and Training Materials

July 26, 2018

By MorraLee Keller, Director of Technical Assistance

The FAFSA (www.fafsa.ed.gov) website got a new look on July 22. The site has a new face and the screens are designed to fit any type of device. This upgrade should help students and parents with completing the FAFSA on whatever phone, tablet or computer to which they have access. Additional features of the redesign include:

  • The page design of fafsa.gov now has a more modern and user-friendly look and feel to improve the overall experience.
  • The “Help and Hints” display boxes have been replaced by new “tool tips.” Tool tips will provide easy-to-use contextual information as students and parents go through each FAFSA question.
  • To ease the students’ and parents’ navigation through the site, some questions on fafsa.gov are now grouped in a different order. The questions are now displayed in a more user-friendly way, which may require fewer page views for students and parents.

The 2018-19 FAFSA Web Demonstration site is available at https://fafsademo.test.ed.gov. The demonstration site reflects the redesign and can be used as a training tool for your staff and for students and parents. You can access the demonstration site using eddemo as the User name and fafsatest as the Password. Federal Student Aid (FSA) has also created a Powerpoint presentation (Updated 2018—19 FAFSA.gov Preview Presentation in PowerPoint Format 18MB, 168 pages) containing slides of revamped screen shots that will be most helpful in training your staff.

More details are available in this July 24 Information for Financial Aid Professionals memo.

With the website being mobile optimized and the new FAFSA mobile app scheduled to release later this summer, access programs should be thinking about new strategies to use these tools. FAFSA completion workshops may no longer need to be in computer labs. Imagine a cafeteria full of people with their phones on the table. A student’s FAFSA may be started on a phone, saved and finished on the home computer or vice versa. Can you envision a group activity at school with students having their phones out working on their FAFSAs?

NCAN applauds FSA for these efforts. We look forward to the launch of the mobile app. Most important, we look forward to helping more students complete their FAFSAs in more ways.

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