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Can a drug conviction impact financial aid eligibility?

When your son or daughter leaves to attend college for the first time, you undoubtedly hope he or she values the morals you instilled and make smart decisions despite you not being there to offer guidance. Unfortunately, though, many young students start to experiment with drugs or alcohol during the college years. In some cases, doing so can lead to serious long-term repercussions.

In addition to penalties your child may face from the criminal justice system following a drug-related criminal conviction, he or she can also face consequences that come from other, outside sources. For example, a drug conviction has the capacity to make your child lose his or her federal financial aid eligibility.

Financial aid-related repercussions

Any type of drug conviction could potentially jeopardize your college student’s ability to continue to utilize federal financial aid, regardless of whether the conviction came at the state or federal level. Drug possession convictions, drug sales convictions and other drug-related criminal convictions can all make your daughter or son ineligible for federal assistance for a certain amount of time. However, the amount of time your child can expect to have to go without federal financial aid depends on both the crime itself and whether he or she already has similar offenses on a criminal record.

In some cases, your child may only lose federal financial aid edibility for one year. In others, though, your son or daughter could run the risk of losing financial aid eligibility indefinitely.

Time of arrest matters

Only drug arrests that occur when your child is already utilizing financial aid can threaten his or her ability to continue to use it. In other words, if your child’s drug arrest took place before he or she started school, you probably do not have to worry about it hindering his or her ability to take advantage of financial assistance.

Talking to your college student about the severity of penalties that come with drug arrests may help your child realize just how risky drug abuse can be while in college. It just may, too, mark the difference between utilizing financial aid and you financing the full cost.

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