THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release January
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES ELECTRONIC GOVERNMENT SERVICES TO
BETTER SERVE STUDENTS
Administration Pilots Service for Post-Secondary
To Get One-Stop Government Services over the Internet
President Gore announced today that, starting this fall, college
students will be able to use the Internet to access one-stop government
Vice President unveiled Access America for Students today at the
Global Forum on Reinventing Government. The Access America for
Students action plan refocuses the delivery of federal electronic
services across agency boundaries to better serve post-secondary
students who need government services. Ten schools participating
in the Federal Family Education Loan Program, Federal Pell Grant
Program, and Federal Direct Loan Program are partnering with government
to plan, develop, and pilot the Access America for Students initiative
˝ DeVry Institute of Technology in Illinois, New York University,
Tarrant County Junior College in Texas, the University of Florida,
the University of Missouri (Kansas City), the University of Northern
Colorado, Western Governors University in Utah, George Washington
University in the District of Columbia, Iowa State University,
and Tennessee State University.
need to make effective use of todayÝs technology to improve citizen
services and reduce government costs," Vice President Gore
said. "This pilot program will provide the basis for continued
efforts to make online government transactions available not only
to students, but also to any customer, who wishes to receive
services initially planned for the pilot include student aid application,
requests for address changes, certifications for veteran student
benefits, e-file for federal taxes, passport applications,
and online recreational park services. Today, many colleges are
using campus card technology to integrate student services. The
Access America pilot will explore the use of technology and commercial
services that are compatible with campus cards and takes advantages
of existing commercial financial services and electronic payment
and security are key objectives of the Access America for Students
Program. Students who take part in this pilot test will use electronic
identification methods, such as digital signatures. Students will
provide feedback on these issues throughout the pilot.
technology exists today to provide the necessary protection to
conduct highly sensitive financial transactions online,"
said the Vice President. "Our aim in this pilot is to prove
these same technologies are sufficiently secure for people to
do business with the government."
at the pilot schools will have an opportunity to use three new
features: (1) a website gateway to access government services
electronically, (2) an electronic ID, and (3) a single, integrated
agencies, industry partners, and academic institutions are exploring
the Access America for Students model as a way to align resources
to better serve their student customers, to eliminate duplication
of effort, and to enable students to complete government transactions
over the Internet.
role of the school does not change under Access America for Students.
Schools will continue their traditional role as primary point
of contact for students. They will continue to determine a studentÝs
eligibility and aid package. They will continue to select their
own banking partners and to receive all student aid money up front
to be applied to the student account, and they will calculate
and apply credit balances to student bank accounts.
the role of the lender does not change in the new program either.
Banks and other lending institutions will continue to play the
vital role of providing education funds to students and working
with their school partners to provide access to funds. They will
continue providing campus card services, student bank accounts,
and other services. And, along with the schools, lenders will
play an advisory role in developing a common process and student
America pilot tests will be conducted in the fall of 1999, with
plans to expand to a larger number of campuses in 2000.
President Gore also reminds eligible student borrowers that time
is running out for them to consolidate their school loans at a
special low interest of 7.46%. "Students can save hundreds
of dollars in interest payments by consolidating their eligible
direct federal or federally guaranteed loans into the Education
DepartmentÝs direct loan program," said the Vice President.
"But they only have until January 31st ˇ just
16 more days ˇ to get their loan consolidation applications post-marked
or transmitted over the World Wide Web (www.ed.gov)." Applications
postmarked or transmitted later will be approved at a higher interest
rate, one equal to the weighted average rate of the loans being
consolidated. "The reinvented Education Department is ready
to handle the last minute crush. They are already processing a
volume of applications that has quadrupled in the last few weeks,
and they are doing it faster than loan industry standards."
Kelly Paisley at (202) 694-0051 or firstname.lastname@example.org
or Tom Flavin at (202) 694-0032.