College Students With Unmarried Parents May Qualify for Less Aid in 2014

What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Next year, federal financial aid forms will allow students with cohabiting parents to include both their incomes, even if they're unmarried or are the same sex.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as FAFSA, will get a makeover next year.

For the first time, it will “collect income and other information from a dependent student’s legal parents regardless of the parents’ marital status or gender, if those parents live together,” the U.S. Department of Education says.

For needy students with unmarried parents or same-sex parents (the federal government doesn’t recognize the legality of same-sex marriages), the current form can be confusing. It only allows the reporting of income from both parents if those parents are married and heterosexual. Such students should be listing only the income of one parent on the current form, but they might list both anyway, and mistakes can disqualify them from aid.

The modified forms will avoid gender-specific language like “mother” and “father” and spell out more options with terms such as “Parent 1 (father/mother/stepparent)” and “Parent 2 (father/mother/stepparent).”

The Department of Education says “most students will be unaffected” by these changes, but they could have three new impacts depending on the parents’ incomes.

  • Fewer students will be disqualified for providing incorrect information.
  • Students with nontraditional living situations could end up receiving less aid because they will be reporting the incomes of two parents, rather than one.
  • However, those students could qualify for more aid if the second parent earns little income. The calculation for aid includes an offset for an additional parent, and if they make less than the government threshold, the math would work in the student’s favor.

The changes will not affect students whose parents are divorced. That group will still only be able to include the income of the parent (and stepparent) they lived with longer in the past year.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 50 Ways to Make a Fast $50

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,999 more deals!