Facts of the Month

Stepparents Count!

When the biological parent in a student’s household remarries, you are required by law to include the income and assets of the stepparent when filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Some people think that’s not fair: the student is not the stepparent’s child; s/he may have children in another household to support financially; and the stepparent may be unwilling to support the student financially. However, the federal formula assumes the stepparent is helping to pay the rent or the mortgage, buy food for the household, etc. Thus it is required that stepparent income and assets be included. For more information, check out the Department of Education's "Who Is My Parent on the FAFSA?" handout.

Publication Date: December 2012