WTVY  | National  | News, Weather, Sports

Student Financial Aid Forms to See Changes for 2014-15

By: al.com
By: al.com

For the first time, students applying for federal financial aid won't be asked the name of their mother or father. Instead, the Department of Education is replacing the gender-specific terms with more generic ones officials said better reflect the changing nature of the American family.

The changes, which go into effect for the 2014-2015 application year, also include a provision where students can say their parents are living together but are not legally married.

"All students should be able to apply for federal student aid within a system that incorporates their unique family dynamics," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "These changes will allow us to more precisely calculate federal student aid eligibility based on what a student's whole family is able to contribute and ensure taxpayer dollars are better targeted toward those students who have the most need, as well as provide an inclusive form that reflects the diversity of American families."

Changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form include replacing gender-specific terms like "mother" and "father" with "Parent 1 (father/mother/stepparent)" and "Parent 2 (father/mother/stepparent)." It also includes a new option for applicants to describe their parents' marital status as "unmarried and both parents living together."

Education officials said the change allows it to collect income and other information from an applicant's legal parents, regardless of parents' marital status or gender, including same-sex couples. In the past, the FAFSA application only obtained information from one legal parent if the parents were unmarried or in a same-sex marriage that was recognized under state law.

The inclusion of additional income may lower the amount of aid some students will receive, department official concede, but said that number should be small.

"It is critical that both of a dependent student's parents help pay, to the extent they are able, for the educational expenses of their child. Collecting parental information from both of a dependent student's legal parents will result in fair treatment of all families by eliminating longstanding inequities based on parents' relationship with each other rather than on their relationship with their child," the department said on its website.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WTVY-TV 285 N Foster Street Dothan, AL 36303 334-792-3195
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 207226471 - wtvy.com/a?a=207226471