The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was ruled unconstitutional in June 2013, giving same-sex couples equal opportunity to participate in federal government programs such as Medicaid, military spousal benefits, and filing for financial aid for college. LGBT families were previously not recognized on the FAFSA and students were instructed to fill out the form as if their parents were divorced, listing the income and contributions of only one parent. Likewise, same-sex partners filling out the form could not list their spouse on the application, as their marriage was not recognized by the federal government.
Now students with married same-sex parents will list the contributions and income of both parents.
» MORE: FAFSA checklist
Steps for filling out the FAFSA for LGBT families
- Fill out the FAFSA with both your parents’ income and assets.
- You do not need to list both parents on the FAFSA if they do not live together or they are not both your legal parents. You are required to list a step-parent who is married to your legal parent. In Step 4 (Parent), state that your parents’ marital status is married if they are married.
» MORE: What are the FAFSA requirements?
Advice from University Financial Aid Officers
Advice from University Financial Aid Officers: For question #58 that asks about your parents’ marital status, FAFSA will now use gender neutral terms such as “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” to distinguish between parents.
— Marco Siliezar, Financial Aid Analyst at California State University’s California Maritime Academy