By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com April 30 2013 1:49 PM ET
The U.S. Department of Education will make it a little easier for college students with gay parents to apply for financial aid. The forms, which will be introduced for the 2014-15 school year, will allow students to designate their parents as "Parent 1 (father/mother/stepparent)" and "Parent 2 (father/mother/stepparent)" instead of as mother and dather, Education secretary Arne Duncan announced Monday.
Currently, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid only collects information about students whose parents are married. Because the federal government does not recognize marriages between same-sex couples, some students with gay parents have been unable to receive financial aid equivalent to that of their peers with married, straight parents.
"All students should be able to apply for federal student aid within a system that incorporates their unique family dynamics," Duncan said. "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."