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Idea of the Day: FAFSA Is Modernizing to Recognize LGBT Families

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When lawmakers first created the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, in 1992, no state recognized civil unions or domestic partnerships between same-sex couples, let alone the freedom to marry. Ten states and the District of Columbia currently confer the rights and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples—and that number is swiftly increasing.

Recognizing this changing landscape, the U.S. Department of Education announced last week a small but significant change to the FAFSA that will make the application a more fair, effective, and efficient tool for students seeking financial aid to help pay for their college education. Starting in 2014 the Department of Education will begin collecting demographic and financial information about families headed by same-sex parents to determine eligibility for and amounts of Pell Grants and federal student loans.

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To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or ashoup@americanprogress.org

Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
202.478.6350 or cpatterson@americanprogress.org

Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or mmeth@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Lindsay Hamilton
202.483.2675 or lhamilton@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

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