Education portal launched

Accenture and the Department of Education's Office of Student Financial Assistance have launched a new Free Application for Federal Student Aid Web site, making the application process for student financial aid quicker, more efficient and more accessible.

Federal education officials predict the next few months could be one of the busiest financial aid seasons in at least a decade. Four million students used FAFSA online last year, and this year, the number is projected to increase to 6 million ? three of every five applications the Office of Student Financial Assistance receives. Students, parents, schools and taxpayers will benefit from the new site's features.

The overhaul of the Web site cost $6.5 million. It is part of Hamilton, Bermuda-based Accenture's ongoing modernization project with the Office of Student Financial Assistance, which is worth a projected $250 million over five years, according to the company.

The site (fafsa.ed.gov) includes a new design, worksheets, additional security and other new features.

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