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ERIC Number: ED535989
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Fact Sheet: LGBT Discrimination in Higher Education Financial Aid--Assistance Should Be Allocated on Need, Not Sexual Orientation
Burns, Crosby
Center for American Progress
Through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, the federal government provides more financial aid for higher education than any other institution. But because of discriminatory laws the FAFSA treats families headed by two mothers or two fathers differently than families headed by a mother and a father. This treatment distributes higher education financial aid in ways that sometimes hurt and sometimes help families headed by same-sex couples. Either way, this means that financial aid is often allocated based on sexual orientation when it should be based solely on financial need. Transgender applicants can encounter roadblocks with the FAFSA due to selective service issues, and possibly with data mismatch with their name and gender markers. Both of these issues can result in the delay or the rejection of their application. Gay and transgender youth with unsupportive and hostile families also encounter barriers throughout the application process that hinder their chances of receiving a college education. Lawmakers and the Department of Education should take the necessary steps to level the playing field and make the application process more fair and efficient for students, families, and American taxpayers.
Center for American Progress. 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-682-1611; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress