Pearson enrolled for student-aid work

Pearson Government Solutions has won a contract to support student financial aid programs that could grow to be worth $800 million if all the options are exercised.

The Education Department has tapped Pearson for a project that combines providing information to students about financial aid, processing aid applications and disbursing Pell Grants and Direct Loans.

The one-year contract is worth $80 million, but it also has nine one-year options, which could push the value to $800 million, the company said.

The contract from the Federal Student Aid office combines two primary functions: processing financial-aid applications from students and originating and disbursing grants and loans. Pearson Government Solutions will design, build and operate a new system that brings together services delivered through four separate contracts.

The student-aid office provides more than $69 billion in postsecondary financial aid to more than 10 million students every year, including more than $51 billion in new student loans and more than $11 billion in Pell Grants, Pearson said.

FSA directly manages or oversees approximately $357 billion in outstanding student and parent loans for more than 25 million borrowers.

The new program will integrate the front end of the student financial-aid process and manage it in a more streamlined and cost-effective manner, the company said.

Pearson Government Solutions in Arlington, Va., is a division of Pearson Plc of London. Pearson is ranked No. 44 on Washington Technology's Top 100 list of government IT contractors.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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