The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has, until now, required financial information from only one parent on its application. For parents who are divorced, single, or in same-sex marriages only the income and assets of one parent affect their student’s financial award of federal dollars for college monies. But, starting with the 2014-15 application the Education Department will require both parents of dependent students to report their financial information.
Why? The Secretary of Education explains it is to help students who have the most need and to better reflect the diversity of the new American family. He also states it is a better use of taxpayers’ dollars.
It is not yet known how much awards will be reduced or how many families will be affected. The idea is this is a much fairer way to award dollars as often an unmarried parent, an ex, or the other partner in a same-sex marriage can and does contribute while poor married parents have fewer resources.