What is the California Domestic Partners Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003?
Effective January 1, 2005, Assembly Bill 205, known as the California Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003 (the Act), extended the rights and responsibilities of spouses to couples registered as domestic partners with the California Secretary of State (Registered Domestic Partners). The provisions of the Act affect students applying for state and institutional financial aid only, not to federal student financial aid programs. Registered Domestic Partners are given a Declaration of Domestic Partnership Certificate (or SEC/STATE LP/SF DP-1) from the California Secretary of State. No other type of domestic partnership is recognized by the Act.
How does the Act affect me?
If you or your parent is a Registered Domestic Partner, information about the partner must be provided to determine your eligibility for state and institutional financial aid. For this purpose, the partners are treated like a married couple. Registered Domestic Partners (student or parent) must provide the same information about their partner that married students or parents must provide about their spouse.
How does the Act affect the information I reported on my Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
The Act does not affect your FAFSA information in any way. If you have to report information about a Registered Domestic Partner for state and institutional financial aid purposes, that information will never be reported to the federal government or be included on your FAFSA. For the purposes of federal financial aid, Registered Domestic Partners are not treated like a married couple.
Who is a Registered Domestic Partner for the purpose of this Act?
Only partnerships registered with the California Secretary of State are affected by this Act. Any other partnership or relationship is not considered a domestic partnership by this Act. Partnerships registered only with a city or county, or in a state other than California, are not affected by this Act.
Will I be eligible for more financial aid or less financial aid?
Until your financial aid eligibility is calculated using the partner's information, there's no way to predict whether the result will be more eligibility or less eligibility. However, if you or your parent is a Registered Domestic Partner, it's mandatory to provide the information, just as it's mandatory for married couples to provide the information.
Which state and institutional financial aid programs are affected by the Act?
The Act affects eligibility for State University Grant (SUG), Educational Opportunity Program Grant (EOPG), and Graduate Equity Fellowship. For 2005-06 and beyond, Cal Grant eligibility will also be affected by the Act.Back to top
Which financial aid programs are NOT affected by the Act?
No federal aid programs are affected by the Act: Pell Grant, SEOG, Perkins Loan, Direct Loan, Parent Loan (PLUS). No merit-based scholarships are affected by the Act (any scholarship awarded through the CSUDH Scholarship Program, Athletic Scholarships, departmental scholarships)
What if I'm not receiving funds from any of the affected financial aid programs?
You are still required to provide the Registered Domestic Partner's information even if you are not currently receiving financial aid from one of the affected programs. It is possible that you could gain eligibility when the partner's information is considered.
What if I (or my parent) am separated from my Registered Domestic Partner, but we have not officially dissolved the partnership through the Secretary of State?
If the Registered Domestic Partners are separated, the partner's information does not have to be provided. This is true even if the partnership is not officially dissolved through the Secretary of State.
If I (or my parent) have a Registered Domestic Partner, is it possible the partner's information will not be considered in determining my eligibility for state and institutional financial aid?
If you filed your FAFSA before your or your parent's domestic partnership was registered with the Secretary of State, the partner's information will not be considered for that academic year. However, the partner's information will be considered for every academic year in which you file the FAFSA after the registration with the Secretary of State. Also, the partner's information is not considered if the Registered Domestic Partners are separated.
How do I provide my or my parent's Registered Domestic Partner's information to the Financial Aid Office?
Download the California Registered Domestic Partner Supplemental Information Form. You must also meet with a Financial Aid Counselor in person.