Can a drug conviction make you ineligible for financial aid?

| Oct 28, 2020 | Drug Crimes |

You may feel proud when your child gains acceptance into a Pennsylvania college or university. However, you may feel decidedly less so if he or she receives a conviction for a drug-related charge while there that may impact financial aid eligibility.

According to Federal Student Aid, an Office of the U.S. Department of Education, a drug conviction of any type has the potential to affect your son or daughter’s financial aid eligibility for at least a year. However, in order for a conviction to impact eligibility, authorities must have arrested your child when he or she was already utilizing federal aid.

Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Your student must complete a new Free Application for Federal Student Aid every year to receive it for that year. On the FAFSA form is a question about whether your child received any drug convictions while using financial aid. If your child answers yes, he or she must complete additional paperwork to determine whether the offense affects financial aid eligibility.

Regaining financial aid eligibility after loss

If your college student loses financial aid because of a drug offense, he or she may be able to regain access to it by doing one of two things. In the first scenario, your child could pass two unannounced drug tests administered by an approved provider. In the second scenario, your child could regain financial aid eligibility by enrolling in and completing an approved drug treatment program.

Once your child passes two unannounced drug tests or completes a rehabilitation program, it is up to him or her to let the local financial aid office know. Upon doing so, your student may become eligible to use financial aid to pay for school again.