In 2014-2015, the federal government will make a groundbreaking shift: fathers and mothers will not be included on federal student aid forms. Instead, the Department of Education announced Thursday that income would be listed “from a dependent student’s legal parents regardless of the parents’ marital status or gender, if those parents live together.” Instead of “father,” the societally-sensitive term “Parent 1” will be used. And for “mother,” the term will be “Parent 2.”
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan explained why fathers and mothers would be done away with in favor of names cribbed from The Cat in the Hat Comes Back: “”All students should be able to apply for federal student aid within a system that incorporates their unique family dynamics. These changes will allow us to more precisely calculate federal student aid eligibility based on what a student’s whole family is able to contribute and ensure taxpayer dollars are better targeted toward those students who have the most need, as well as provide an inclusive form that reflects the diversity of American families.”
Presumably, once parents are found to be patriarchal, terminology will be changed again to help ease the feelings of children who don’t like Parent 1, Parent 2, mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, cousin, uncle, niece, or distant relation.