Federal Student Aid Changes Could Cost Same-Sex Parents More

Equality doesn’t come without a cost. The latest example comes from the U.S. Department of Education, which has announced that both parents in same-sex couples should be included on applications for federal student aid.

The downside of that is that the income from both parents will have to be included on the application, which may mean that your kid isn’t going to get as much student aid as he or she might have under previous regulations.

“All students should be able to apply for federal student aid in a way that considers their unique family dynamics,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (above). “These changes will allow us to calculate aid eligibility based on what a student’s whole family is able to contribute and ensures our limited taxpayer resources are better targeted toward those students and families who have the most need. And, very importantly, these changes allow us to provide an inclusive form that reflects the great diversity of American families.”

The new forms will allow students to identify parents as “unmarried and both parents living together.” The application will also eliminate gender specific terms in favor of terms like “Parent 1 (father/mother/stepparent).”

Duncan said the changes weren’t being made to save the federal government money. “We just think it is more accurate, it is more inclusive, it is more fair,” he said. But the move is a reminder that wanting to be treated like everyone else can sometimes mean having to put your money where your mouth is.