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Drug charges may result in losing your student financial aid

Many students rely on the student loans that they receive to attend college; otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to. Most students wouldn’t want to do anything to jeopardize their ability to remain enrolled in school or receive aid, but a drug charge might do just that.


Most students realize that they must abide by the rules outlined in their college’s handbook, which may outline the school’s anti-drug policies, to remain enrolled. They might think that their school won’t discover their actions.


Even if a student does realize that a conviction for drug charges could result in their suspension from the school, they may not realize other implications associated with one, such as their loss of student loans.


Can you lose your right to financial aid if you’re convicted of a drug crime?


The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year to re-qualify for federal student financial aid. One of the questions on that form asks if you’ve been convicted of a drug offense. You’ll likely have to complete an additional worksheet if you say yes. Your responses will determine whether you are still eligible for financial aid.


Any drug conviction that occurs while you’re receiving financial aid may result in your becoming ineligible for continued funding. You may find it refreshing to learn that it’s unlikely that the recission of your aid is permanent. You’ll need to complete a federally-approved rehabilitation program for drug offenders before you regain eligibility for aid again.


The federal government may require you to repay any amount of student loans you received during the quarter or semester in which your conviction occurred.


You may also be eligible to receive student aid to complete a portion of a school year, depending on when you complete your rehab program.


How an attorney can support you if you’re a student facing drug charges


It can be disheartening to learn that you’re facing drug charges when you’re in the midst of college. A conviction can impact your ability to remain enrolled in school and your ability to pay for your education. It can also affect your pursuit of the career that you anticipated. An attorney can advise you of what constitutes a sound defense strategy that may aid you in avoiding a conviction and keeping your student loans.