Customer Service Plan


Start: 2011-10-24, Publication: 2012-04-28


The Department’s Customer Service Plan is designed to improve the delivery of services to our customers by redesigning the business processes and systems that impact key customer interactions. This includes placing more services online, making our online services easy to use and implementing customer service best practices across the agency.

The Department’s Customer Service Plan describes our signature initiative “Integrated Student View (ISV),” which encompasses the web experience of the student aid lifecycle and focuses on our loans line of business. Student borrowers and their parents represent the largest group of customers with which the Department directly interacts. ISV was chosen as our signature initiative because it provides a simplified process for shopping for higher education financing options that benefit millions of customers daily. The other service area our Customer Service Plan focuses on is in our grants line of business; the “Grant Award Notification, E-Signature” initiative will reduce paper and eliminate the lag time between grant funding and recipient notification. Loans and grants are the primary mechanisms for delivering service to our customers; therefore these areas are the primary focus of this plan.


Name:Owen Ambur


Name:U.S. Department of Education



  • Federal Student Aid (FSA)Federal Student Aid (FSA) plays a central role in the nation’s postsecondary education. FSA’s core mission is to ensure that all eligible individuals benefit from federal financial assistance – grants, work-study, and loans – for education beyond high school. The programs administered by FSA comprise the nation’s largest source of student aid. Every year, the agency provides more than $150 billion in aid to nearly 14 million postsecondary students and their families. The staff is based in 10 cities in addition to the Washington, D.C., headquarters. FSA is responsible for the Department’s loans line of business.

  • Customer Experience OfficeThe Customer Experience Office was established in November 2010 for the purpose of understanding customer needs and meeting or exceeding their expectations during the student/borrower lifecycle, providing information to students and borrowers who could be recipients of federal student aid, and identifying, measuring and reporting customer expectations and satisfaction with federal financial services and products.

  • Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO)The Department’s Grant Management System (G5) is managed by the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), Financial Systems Services organization. The system provides an end-to-end solution for processing the thousands of grants that are awarded by the Department of Education. G5 supports the full lifecycle of grants, including pre-award, award, payments and post-award functions, and it is used by the Department’s eight principal grant making offices to award and monitor discretionary, formula, and fellowship grants. As part of the award process, three copies of a Grant Award Notification (GAN) are printed and signed, two of which are mailed to grantees for each newly awarded, supplemented or modified grant. The third signed copy is retained in the official grant file folder. Each printed GAN for new awards averages 42 pages at a combined cost of approximately $.96 per page. The estimated cost of the supplies and services to handle and mail over 30,000 GAN documents is $1.2 million per year. G5 will be enhanced to make use of the digital certificate capability of the HSPD-12 implementation to digitally sign electronic GANs and email them to grantees saving the Department time and money. This initiative will improve customer service by increasing the timeliness and accuracy of the GAN process by ensuring instant delivery of GANs via email to the appropriate grant recipients. The electronically signed GAN will no longer need to be stored in a paper file folder because it will be stored in an electronic grant file, accessible by grant recipients and Education staff at any time throughout the grant lifecycle.