A Mobile Revolution – Are you ready?

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“You say you want a revolution,” The Beatles sang in “Revolution 1”. The revolution is here, and it has invaded your campus. Can you guess? It is mobile devices such as smartphone or tablets. I was reading a career online article that piqued my interest about campus technology. The article stated that two-thirds (67 percent) of online students surveyed used or wants to have the option to use their smartphones for online coursework., according to Dian Schaffhauser at Campus Technology.

So, I was thinking about the financial aid office. Are you prepared for the changes ahead? In fact, The Department of Education will take another step this week toward making the federal student aid process fully accessible from mobile devices. The department will launch a mobile-friendly version this week of fafsa.gov, the website that hosts the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Then next month it plans to roll out the beta version of a student aid mobile app that would allow financial aid recipients to complete the FAFSA application as well as make loan payments and complete other financial aid tasks.

A complete version of the mobile app is set to launch Oct. 1, 2018 in time for the beginning of the 2019-2020 Federal Student Aid cycle. “The launch of the myStudentAid app later this summer is critical in creating a consistent mobile-first, mobile-complete, mobile-continuous experience for Federal Student Aid’s customers,” said A. Wayne Johnson, the chief strategy and transformation officer at the Office of Federal Student Aid. “The first step in enhancing the mobile experience is a redesigned fafsa.gov, which will provide new ‘tool tips’ to better guide students and parents through each section of the FAFSA.”

How will this impact your financial office’s workflow? How will this effect your engagement with your students? What steps has your campus taken to embrace this shift in technology? It blows my mind not to rely on a computer after so many years of pounding out FAFSA data on a keyboard. I guess we will need to stay tuned in to see how it all plays out.