Summary: This Action Letter introduces the 1995-96 FAFSA EXPRESS, a financial aid software package that allows applicants to complete and submit an electronic Free Application for Federal Student Aid using a personal computer equipped with a modem.
Action Letter #12
SUMMARY: This Action Letter introduces the 1995-96 FAFSA
EXPRESS, a financial aid software package that allows applicants
to complete and submit an electronic Free Application for Federal
Student Aid using a personal computer equipped with a modem.
The U. S. Department of Education (ED) is pleased to introduce
FAFSA Express, a financial aid software package created
specifically for students to apply for Federal financial aid for
the 1995-96 application cycle. FAFSA Express allows applicants,
without assistance from a financial aid administrator, to
complete and submit an electronic Free Application for Federal
Student Aid (FAFSA) using a PC, modem and printer.
In late September 1995, ED will distribute FAFSA Express to
postsecondary institutions that request the software. Also, ED
will provide FAFSA Express to selected public libraries, Guidance
Offices,TRIO, and Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC). We
encourage organizations that receive the software to install it
in libraries, computer facilities and labs or other locations
which are easily accessible to students.
FAFSA Express has an easy to use Windows format, extensive on-
line instructions, pull-down menus with multiple choice
information and institutional Title IV Codes. Additionally,
FAFSA Express automatically transmits applicant data directly to
the Central Processing System (CPS). Applicants have electronic
access from any IBM compatible PC with a modem. Before
transmitting the application record, FAFSA Express automatically
edits data entered by the student. This is designed to improve
data quality and reduce rejection rates.
Although FAFSA Express offers an alternative to the paper
application, students will need to sign and submit an original
signature to fully complete the application process. If the
student has a printer available, the software will print a copy
of the applicant data and the signature page. The signature page
must be signed by the student and mailed to the FAFSA Processor.
If the student is dependent, his or her parent must also sign the
signature page before mailing it. If the applicant does not have
access to a printer, s/he will receive a SAR that requires a
signature. This SAR will be sent to applicants who do not
immediately submit a signature page. The student and parent (if
applicable) must sign and return the signature page attached to
Like all ED financial aid software products, FAFSA Express is
free. If students have PCs equipped with a modem, they may
install copies of FAFSA Express on their own PCs and apply for
financial aid from home. In an institutional setting, FAFSA
Express can accommodate an unlimited number of users, allowing
students to apply from the financial aid office, library,
computer lab or Guidance Office. We strongly recommend that
students have access to a printer in order to expedite the
application process, which is explained in detail in Enclosure 1.
Additional information concerning hardware requirements is
located in Enclosure 2.
ED will provide assistance to FAFSA Express users through a
customer service 800 number. Users will be able to:
- Check the status of their FAFSA Express application
- Request a copy of the software
- Receive assistance with hardware, software, installation and
The Department of Education is interested in hearing your
comments regarding the 1995-96 FAFSA Express, which will be
useful to enhance the software for 1996-97. Please FAX your
comments to the attention of the FAFSA Express Coordinator at
If you are interested in receiving a copy of FAFSA Express, you
may order by calling the customer service 800 number listed on
Senior Adviser to the Secretary