FSA enlists The College Board for the 2025-26 FAFSA

Posted on Inside Higher ED, Liam Knox writes that last month the department appointed Jeremy Singer, the longtime president of the College Board, to be its first-ever FAFSA executive adviser. He’ll take temporary leave from the nonprofit to lead the form’s rollout for the Office of Federal Student Aid, a move made possible by the Intergovernmental Personnel Act, which allows federal agencies and nongovernmental partners to share staff when needed.  Singer is bringing a team of College Board executives with him, including Chief Information Officer Jeff Olson, who is also joining through an IPA agreement. Olson’s role will be to “strengthen internal systems and processes and bolster technical capabilities,” according to the spokesperson. The department is also bringing on multiple other “technology solutions experts” from the College Board, the spokesperson said, along with “additional contractor resources.”

The College Board is best known for owning and administering the SAT and AP exams, among a slate of other educational and assessment products. But the elephant in the room is the College Scholarship Service Profile, its private competitor to the FAFSA.  The CSS Profile is an alternative aid form required by over 300 higher ed institutions, which charges colleges for membership and students for submission. Most Profile schools are wealthier private colleges and large research universities, or enrollment-driven institutions that use it to calculate the optimum level of institutional aid needed to boost yield rates.

Singer’s defenders say his deep familiarity with the Profile is what makes him the best person for the FSA job: he has a decade of experience managing a less popular but still widely used student aid packaging tool, and he and Olson bring a technical know-how that the department appeared to lack during last year’s FAFSA rollout.