Can Criminal Convictions Stop Me from Going to College?

Most colleges and universities do collect criminal background information on prospective students, and many consider a student’s criminal background when making admission decisions. The most typical way that colleges collect this information is by asking students for the information on their applications for admission. A few colleges conduct regular background checks on prospective students. If a student discloses a criminal background or it appears in a background check that a school performs, the school may request additional information, such as a letter of explanation from the student, or information confirming that the student has completed his or her probation or parole successfully.

One of the most significant barriers to attending college may be an inability to qualify for federal financial aid if you have been convicted of a felony involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance. If you have a felony drug conviction, you could be ineligible for federal loans, grants, and work-study benefits for some time, depending on the nature and the timing of your conviction. Nonetheless, you still could be eligible for state financial aid, including grants and scholarships.

Can Criminal Convictions Stop Me From Going to College?

There may be ways for you to regain eligibility for federal financial aid. For instance, if you have a felony possession conviction, you can regain eligibility for federal financial assistance after one year for a first-time offense or after two years for a second offense. A third conviction makes you ineligible indefinitely. If you have a drug sales felony conviction, however, you will be ineligible for two years following a first offense, and ineligible indefinitely after a second offense. You can regain ineligibility earlier if you complete a drug rehabilitation program or if you have the conviction overturned or removed.

The criminal defense attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience that you need when you are facing criminal charges. We will determine the facts and evidence that are relevant to your case, evaluate your options, and help you decide the best course of action for your situation. We intend to place you in the best position possible to achieve your goals. Contact our Texas criminal defense attorneys at our office today and learn how we can assist you through this complicated situation.

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