FEDERAL STUDENT AID

REDUCING DEFAULT LOANS

2018 SERVICE TO THE CITIZEN AWARD WINNERS

The FSA team led a campaign that enabled the office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) to better understand the citizens they serve.  This campaign included partnering with the Office of Evaluation Sciences at GSA to collect information by conducting behavioral customer research using randomized controlled trials.  A segment of customers was either sent a positively or negatively framed message about potential consequences of loan default and compared that with a control group that did not receive the message.  Results revealed that borrowers in default on their loans were more likely to take action after getting a negatively framed message about the potential consequences of default. These results enabled the FSA to understand its customers better and target outreach more effectively.

 

The work conducted by this team demonstrated that relying on what customers say in surveys only solves part of the puzzle and to fully understand how customers use government services and respond to outreach, agencies also need to take into account how they actually behave.  In some cases, messages could be having a negative effect on customers which the FSA demonstrated by their trials and why government agencies should be conducting rigorous customer research and testing. As a result of analysis, FSA sends customers more effective communications that result in the desired actions.

JESSICA SIMPSON

SENIOR ADVISOR FOR THE BORROWER EXPERIENCE

FEDERAL STUDENT AID

 

DR. G. DALE THOMAS

MANAGEMENT AND PROGRAM ANALYST

FEDERAL STUDENT AID

 

ROSALIZES WRIGHT

PROGRAM SPECIALIST

FEDERAL STUDENT AID

Dorris Consulting International