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Do drug convictions affect financial aid eligibility?

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2021 | Drug Charges |

Many college students use financial aid to help pay for school in North Carolina, and many of them also experiment with drugs and alcohol while there. While a drug charge or conviction has the potential to lead to criminal consequences and repercussions from your child’s school, there is some good news. A drug conviction no longer makes your college student ineligible for financial aid.

Per Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, a rule in place for quite some time that prevented college students with drug offenses from using financial aid no longer applies.

Rule changes

Until recently, any kind of drug conviction could make your college student ineligible to use financial aid for at least a year. The answers he or she submitted about criminal convictions while completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid were used to determine whether your child would be eligible for aid. However, do not panic if your child sees questions about drugs or criminal violations when filling out the FAFSA. These questions still appear on the form, but your child’s answers no longer impact aid eligibility.

Other consequences

Even though a drug conviction no longer leads to a loss of financial aid, it may still have serious consequences. Your child may have to attend a code of conduct hearing at his or her college or university. He or she may also face fines and possibly time behind bars, depending on the severity of the drug charges faced.

Many education advocates have long argued that drug violations should not be a barrier to higher education, and this recent rule change makes them less so. However, they may still affect many other areas of your college student’s life.


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