Main | Saturday, December 14, 2013

Feds Recognize All Gay Marriages For Student Financial Aid Applicants

Citing Edith Windsor's victory at the Supreme Court, yesterday the Department of Education announced that all same-sex marriages will be recognized for the purposes of federal financial aid grants regardless of the state where the applicant resides.
For purposes of the Title IV HEA programs, a student or a parent is considered married if the student or parent was legally married in any domestic or foreign jurisdiction1 that recognizes the relationship as a valid marriage, regardless of where the couple resides. The Department is applying a “place of celebration” rule and, accordingly, has determined that any legal marriage that is recognized by the jurisdiction in which the marriage was celebrated will be recognized for Title IV HEA program purposes without regard to whether the marriage is between persons of the same sex or opposite sex, and without regard to where the couple resides. This determination applies to both a student and to the parents of a dependent student. It also applies to a student attending an institution located in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage and in a jurisdiction (e.g., a state) that does not recognize same-sex marriage. Further, this determination applies only to marriages and does not apply to registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or similar formal relationships recognized under state law.  Finally, this determination is relevant to all questions concerning marriage and marital status on the FAFSA.

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