Brenda Wensil served as the first Chief Customer Experience Officer in the federal government for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Federal Student Aid. Brenda was a pioneer in the federal government customer experience arena, establishing an organization to improve awareness, access and aid for higher education. Brenda led the efforts to create an integrated student experience by reducing the website ecosystem from 13 individual sites to one website for the public. Brenda developed the Department of Education’s foundational digital strategy that included establishing a communications strategy, levering customer segmentation and behavioral insights to target students in repayment.
These achievements provided benefits to the public by launching the first ever public data source that allowed high schools across the nation to track high school seniors’ efforts to apply for financial aid, ensuring that awareness programs could reach areas that needed it most. Additionally, in-depth analysis of the FAFSA data and school enrollment periods ultimately led to the approval of the “Early FAFSA” filing which changed the filing deadlines for the first time in higher education history. The move, announced by the White House in September 2016 paved the way for aligning the federal filing process with the timelines for colleges and universities throughout the system. The FAFSA application process was streamlined to allow for greater ease and reduce the amount of time necessary to complete the application.
Agencies across the government have leveraged the lessons learned from FSA.