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Conway Criminal Law Blog

Drug convictions in college and the impact on financial aid

Life after high school is filled with many dreams, aspirations and opportunities. Some young adults choose to go to college to further these endeavors. However, everything could come to a screeching halt when they are accused of a drug crime on their college campus.

With their present educational journey and future dreams on the line, it is important to gain a full understanding of the options available. A criminal defense could help with these charges but also aid in their enrollment status as a student.

Drug charges and financial aid

Having a criminal record tends to impact one’s life. While you might be turning your life around by applying to college, your past drug charge could impact your ability to afford college. It is possible to face a denial of financial aid if the student has a drug conviction.

It should be noted that a student is not automatically disqualified from receiving federal financial aid forever due to a drug conviction. For example, your first drug possession offense results in ineligibility for financial aid for one year from the date of conviction. If a student is convicted of a second possession offense or their first drug sale offense, ineligibility is for two years.

Defense and other options

Having financial aid denied due to a drug charge can make it difficult to afford to continue your education. Thus, it might be necessary to take steps to have your financial aid reinstated. A student could apply for early reinstatement. While this is not an easy process; however, eligibility is automatically reinstated if the drug conviction is overturned, rendered invalid or set aside.

Because college students facing drug charges can become a messy and complex situation, it is important that students consider their criminal defense options. Taking an aggressive approach could help with the reduction or dismissal of the charges. Additionally, it is possible to have a drug charge expunged from your record.

With various defense and reinstatement options available, it is imperative that you consider your situation and how best to protect your legal rights. Working with an experienced attorney could help you avoid serious charges and the loss of financial aid.