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AUTHOR: Federal Student Aid
SUBJECT: FSA Partner Connect – Implementation Planned for December 2023; E-App and Other Actions Required by Nov. 24, 2023

FSA Partner Connect serves as the digital front door, one-stop-shop for all Federal Student Aid and partner engagement. The main features of Partner Connect include account capabilities such as a dashboard tailored to partner users, easier access to school profile information, integrated views of student and borrower account information, and the student’s view of for school staff providing customer support to students. Partner Connect also provides access to the Knowledge Center, the Federal Student Aid Handbook, and FSA Training Conference information.

As presented at the 2022 Virtual Federal Student Aid Training Conference, we have been working to modernize more services used by our partners. On Dec. 17, 2023, we plan to launch our next major FSA Partner Connect implementation, which includes an extensive redesign of the Application for Approval to Participate in the Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs (E-App) and other major enhancements that will be made throughout the site.

This is the first in a series of communications we will publish over the coming weeks to help partners prepare for the implementation. In this announcement, we provide a summary of the new FSA Partner Connect features that will be available to partners and highlight key E-App processing impacts that partners need to note.


New FSA Partner Connect Features

Below is a summary of the new FSA Partner Connect features we plan to implement. We will provide additional information about these features in forthcoming Electronic Announcements.


  • E-App – A new version of the E-App will be available in FSA Partner Connect for partners to submit new applications for school eligibility, recertifications of school eligibility, and other program participation changes. Partner Connect also will provide access to an automated pre-eligibility application for new applicants and schools seeking reinstatement. Schools that meet the pre-eligibility application criteria will be able to submit an E-App through a temporary Application Administrator identified in the application. The Application Administrator will be able to complete, edit, and submit the application, identify additional temporary users who can complete and edit the application, and track the application process on Partner Connect.

    The updated E-App will improve the supporting documentation and signature processes. Supporting documentation, such as the Accrediting Letter and State License/Legal Authorization Letter, will be uploaded within the applicable E-App section and eliminate the need to mail or use a separate system to provide supporting documentation. The updated E-App will utilize DocuSign’s digital signature process to collect the required signatures via email notification and eliminate the need to print and mail the signature page. If an authorized signature authority is unavailable, a delegated signature authority will be able to sign the E-App.


  • Eligibility & Oversight Administrator Role – The Eligibility & Oversight Administrator will facilitate account management and grant access to those who will edit and update the E-App and view specific eligibility and oversight-related cases. There also will be an option to designate an alternate. FSA will assign this role to the financial aid administrator at each school initially; that individual will then be able to reassign the role to someone else after implementation.


  • Third-Party Servicer Relationships – A school’s Eligibility & Oversight Administrator will be able to grant the school’s third-party servicers access to certain systems.


  • Third-Party Servicer Inquiry Form – This form—used to validate the information reported to FSA by higher education institutions about the third-party servicers who administer one or more aspects of the Title IV, HEA programs on an institution’s behalf—will be available on FSA Partner Connect. All third-party servicers will be required to electronically submit the form after implementation and keep it up to date going forward.


  • Reports – Partners will have access to reports associated with Title IV participation. Users will be able to view and download reports such as:


    • Weekly Institutional Update Reports

    • Weekly School File

    • Monthly Closed School Reports

    • Weekly Closed School Search File


We will offer training opportunities to help partners learn more about these new features.


E-App Processing Impacts During Transition Period

To implement the new E-App in FSA Partner Connect in December 2023, we must cease use of the existing E-App in the online system on Nov. 24, 2023. We regret this inconvenience, but a transition period is necessary to migrate the data from the old system to the new system.



Starting Nov. 25, 2023, users will no longer be able to sign in to the online system. Accordingly, users should review the following information to ensure all necessary actions are completed by Nov. 24, 2023.

In addition, no later than Nov. 24, 2023, we strongly encourage schools to download or print the following items to save for their records and to have available to re-enter data in the new online system, if needed:


  • Current ECAR


  • Any acknowledgement and approval notices and letters that the school does not have saved


  • The school’s Application data (for cases in which a school recently applied, but that application has not been processed)


The processing of E-Apps during the transition period will be impacted as follows:


  • If a school is part of the December 31 Recertification Cohort (i.e., schools that have  Program Participation Agreements expiring on March 31, 2024), we strongly encourage the school to submit its E-App via no later than Nov. 24, 2023, as communicated in email notices sent by FSA. If a school did not receive this email notice, it is not part of the December 31 Recertification Cohort.


  • An E-App submitted by a school via by Nov. 24, 2023, will be reviewed and processed by FSA via FSA Partner Connect after implementation.


  • An E-App started but not submitted by a school via by Nov. 24, 2023, will not be saved or carried over to the new system and will need to be re-started by the school and submitted via FSA Partner Connect after implementation.


  • If a school encounters a major event impacting its eligibility, such as a change in accrediting agency or an addition of an additional location after Nov. 24, 2023, the school will need to notify its School Participation Division via email of the event. The school must submit the E-App for this reported event via FSA Partner Connect after implementation.


  • If a school anticipates it will close after Nov. 24, 2023, and before the new system is available, the school must contact its School Participation Division for further guidance.


School Participation Division contact information can be found on the FSA Partner Connect Help Center.


Change in Ownership

In a Sept. 21, 2023 Electronic Announcement (GEN-23-77), we provided guidance for compliance with the 90-day advance notification for a change in ownership (CIO). For reporting that must occur after Nov. 24, 2023, and on or before Dec. 18, 2023, schools must provide the information as follows:


  • 90-day reporting must be made via email to the school’s School Participation Division with “90-Day CIO Notice for <OPEID>” in the subject line. Follow GEN-23-77 guidance for required documents.


  • 10-day required notification must be made via email to the school’s School Participation Division no later than 10 days after the CIO transaction occurred to maintain Title IV eligibility. The school must submit the E-App for this reported event via FSA Partner Connect after implementation.


Again, School Participation Division contact information can be found on the FSA Partner Connect Help Center.


Prison Education Programs

If a school is considering eligibility for a Prison Education Program (PEP) or needs to report additional PEPs, as outlined in the June 30, 2023 Electronic Announcement (GEN-23-52), it must provide that information via by Nov. 24, 2023. Otherwise, it must hold the submission until after implementation.

We will remind schools of these E-App processing impacts throughout the transition period.


Training, Additional Communication Plans, and Questions

We understand the community will have questions about the upcoming FSA Partner Connect implementation. In the coming weeks, we will provide additional information in the following ways:


  • Training Opportunities – We will provide FSA Partner Connect training to help partners use the new tools and resources. Training Announcements (ANNs) will be posted on the Knowledge Center to inform the community about these opportunities.


  • Additional Electronic Announcements – We will publish additional Electronic Announcements that will help partners prepare for the upcoming implementation. Monitor the Knowledge Center for these announcements.


  • Questions – Partners can send us questions through the Customer Support form in the FSA Partner Connect Help Center. To submit a question about the upcoming implementation, complete the form and select “Partner Connect Feedback” as the topic.


We look forward to continuing to work with you.