Do Drug Charges Affect Financial Aid?

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Do Drug Charges Affect Financial Aid?

Are you wondering – do drug charges affect financial aid? If you find yourself with drug charges and are planning on returning to school or need other types of financial assistance, you may find applying for federal financial aid difficult.

While it is not entirely off the table, it will be much harder to access it if you have drug charges on your record. If you are ready to learn how drug charges affect financial aid, keep reading! 

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Drug Charges Affect Your Financial Aid

To put it simply, yes, drug charges heavily affect whether or not you can get federal financial aid, but some forms of financial aid may still be available to you. First are private financial aid forms such as private grants or student loans that are not procured through federal means. Second, you can pursue a few federal financial aid forms, such as Pell Grants. Finally, you can follow the tips below on finding alternatives.

How To Deal With Drug Charges If You Are Seeking Any Type Of Financial Assistance

Attempting To Reverse Your Conviction

Firstly, you can attempt to get your conviction reversed when considering financial aid with drug charges. While this will not work for everyone, and everyone’s situations are different, this may be an option if you believe your conviction was wrongful. You will want to research and contact a drug defense lawyer if you decide to try to reverse your conviction. 

Take Drug Tests To Show You Are Clean

Another option open to students pursuing financial aid with drug charges on their record is to see if they can take drug tests and complete a drug rehabilitation program to show they are clean from drugs. This is not offered by every school and financial aid program, so be sure to check with your financial aid office to find out whether or not this is an option for you. 

Look Into Other Finance Options

The final option available to you is to research other financial aid options. While your options are fewer when you have drug charges on your record, you are not exempt from all financial aid forms. Some opportunities exist in the form of federal work-study, Pell Grants, or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. 

You will also want to fill out the FAFSA even if you are ineligible for federal financial aid. The FAFSA can help pair you up with nonfederal financial aid opportunities. While it is not a guarantee that you will get any of these, they are still potential options if you find yourself hard-pressed for financial aid due to drug charges. 

Understand How Long Your Federal Aid Ineligibility Will Last

Currently, if you have been convicted of a drug charge, you are ineligible for federal financial aid for a year after your conviction date. If you have two charges, that increases it to two years. If you get a third conviction, you are suspended from federal financial aid eligibility indefinitely, and you will likely be unable to obtain any form of federal financial aid.

If you are convicted of selling drugs, the consequences are even more severe regarding federal financial aid. The first charge makes you ineligible for federal aid for two years, and two charges or more make you ineligible indefinitely. With drug selling convictions, you can kiss your federal financial aid goodbye forever. 

Regaining Financial Aid After It Has Been Suspended Indefinitely

When you have multiple drug charges on your record, it becomes much harder to receive financial aid as you are suspended indefinitely on your third possession charge and your second selling charge. However, there are some things you can do in an attempt to become eligible for financial aid once again. 

  • Complete a drug rehabilitation program that is administered by a federal, state, or local government agency or court;
  • Pass two unannounced drug tests at different times from a drug rehabilitation program;
  • A conviction is removed from your record that brings the number of convictions below two for possession or one for selling;
  • If a conviction is overturned, eligibility will be determined based on the date of the last drug conviction. 

Conclusion: Do Drug Charges Affect Financial Aid

Finding financial aid after being hit with criminal charges such as drug possession or selling drugs can be a difficult task, but it is not impossible. You will have to work much harder to find financial aid if needed, but if you keep yourself clean from drugs and go through a rehabilitation program, you can earn back your financial aid eligibility.

If you need help with drug charges you may want to hire a criminal defense attorney. In addition, you may want to seek out the help of a treatment facility. These things all help in many ways and while they may not really help with financial aid they may help you in other areas.

We hope you have the answer to your question do drug charges affect financial aid and we wish you luck!