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Can a drug conviction impact financial aid eligibility?

Receiving a conviction for a drug-related criminal charge can mean considerable consequences, and you may find yourself facing jail time, sizable fines, substance abuse treatment requirements and related repercussions. If you are a college student who is currently receiving financial aid at the time you receive your drug charge, you may, too, lose your financial aid eligibility, potentially hindering your ability to continue your education.

In fact, virtually any type of drug conviction can lead to a loss of financial aid for a period. However, how long you can expect to lose financial aid access in the wake of a drug conviction depends on several factors, including the severity of your drug crime and whether you already have a drug-related criminal history.

Types of drug convictions that count

If you are facing charges for drug possession, drug sales, conspiring to sell drugs and so on, regardless of whether they come from the state or federal level, you can expect to lose financial aid eligibility for some length of time, if convicted. Typically, less serious charges, such as simple possession drug charges, lead to shorter periods of ineligibility than more serious ones, such as selling or conspiring to sell drugs.

Additional relevant factors

Another factor that will have an impact on the repercussions you face for a drug conviction is when, exactly, you received your drug-related criminal charge in the first place. For your conviction to impact your financial aid eligibility, your arrest must have happened at a time you were already a recipient of financial aid. In other words, if authorities arrested you, say, during the summertime and you were not attending summer school and using financial aid to do so, a conviction should not affect financial aid eligibility.

If you are facing a drug charge and are attending school with the help of financial aid, it is critical that you understand how a conviction could potentially impact you.

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