Federal student financial aid, which includes grants, loans, and/or work-study, is often an essential part of a student’s ability to attend college. However, there are certain circumstances that may impact a student’s ability to qualify for and receive federal student aid. When you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is required to receive any federal financial student aid, you must answer a question about whether you have been convicted of a drug offense. A student who is convicted of any federal or state offense for the possession or sale of illegal drugs may lose the ability to receive any federal student aid.
If you are convicted of a drug offense while receiving federal student financial aid, your eligibility for that aid may be suspended. You also may need to pay back any federal student aid funds that you received during a period of ineligibility for those funds. If the drug conviction did not occur while you were enrolled in college and receiving federal financial aid, your eligibility for aid is not affected. Likewise, if you are convicted of a drug offense as a juvenile, or prior to reaching the age of 18, your eligibility for federal student aid is unaffected.
Can You Lose Your Federal Student Financial Aid if You Are Convicted of a Drug Offense?
Fortunately, there are ways that you can regain eligibility for federal student aid if a drug conviction has suspended your ability to receive aid. You can complete one of the following options to regain your eligibility
- You can complete an approved drug rehabilitation program that includes passing at least two unannounced drug tests;
- You can pass two unannounced drug tests administered by an approved drug rehabilitation program; or
- You can have your drug conviction reversed, set aside, or otherwise made invalid.
The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have the experience and knowledge that are necessary to represent your interests when you are facing any type of criminal charges, including the possession and/or sale of drugs. We are here to gather evidence on your behalf, build a strong case, and develop the best strategy for defending you from the negative impact of a criminal conviction. Take the first step by contacting us today and learning what we can do to help.