Education Secretary Miguel Cardona announced a major overhaul of the Federal Student Aid (FSA) office on May 30, aiming to modernize its operations after the troubled rollout of Better FAFSA last December delayed submissions for students and drew sharp criticism. [Inside Higher Ed]

Catch up quick: Federal policymakers promised students and families that the Better FAFSA would be a simplified, redesigned, and streamlined federal form that would take families just 15 minutes to complete. 

By the numbers: Only 1.7 million FAFSAs have been completed, according to the National College Attainment Network’s (NCAN) FAFSA Tracker. That number reflects just 41.5% of the high school class of 2024, a -15.5% change compared to this time last year.

What’s happening: Cardona laid out several steps to revamp the FSA, including leadership changes, a comprehensive review of FSA’s organization, management, staffing, and vendor contracts, and bolstering the IT team ahead of the next FAFSA cycle. Boston Consulting Group has been hired to provide recommendations for improving FSA’s operations. [NBC News]

  • Denise Carter will serve as interim principal deputy COO while the search for a new COO is conducted. Current COO Rich Cordray will step down at the end of June.

What they’re saying: “We’ve been devoting resources to FAFSA since we got in. We recognized early on that it needed to be delayed and we continue to find ways to move it along. But the idea we took resources away from this to do that is false,” Cardona said in a keynote at the Education Writers Association’s National Seminar in Las Vegas.