Department of Education to Eliminate 'Mother,' 'Father' From Student Aid Forms
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- 2013 May 20
The U.S. Department of Education has announced that student financial aid forms will begin using the terms "Parent 1" and "Parent 2" rather than the gender-specific terms "mother" and "father," Baptist Press reports. The 2014-15 federal student aid forms will for the first time 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, according to the department. In addition to removing "mother" and "father," the new forms will provide an option for applications to describe their parents' marital status as "unmarried and both parents living together." Traditionally, the forms have been written to collect information about a student's parents only if the parents are married, thus excluding income and other information from one of the student's legal parents when the parents are unmarried, even if those parents are living together. "Gender-specific terms also fail to capture income and other information from one parent when a student's parents are in a same-sex marriage under state law but not federally recognized under the Defense of Marriage Act," the department said. "All students should be able to apply for federal student aid within a system that incorporates their unique family dynamics," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.