Financial aid can still be an obstacle for students with drug convictions.
That’s especially the case if the offense occurred while the student was receiving financial support. When they fill out the FAFSA forms, students often get asked whether they got a conviction while receiving assistance. If they answer yes, they may have to fill out paperwork that determines whether their conviction has an impact on their eligibility for further support. If the student commits the offense after submitting the FAFSA form, they may have to return any financial aid they received during a period of ineligibility.
Luckily, those with drug convictions can get reinstated for financial support by taking a few extra steps.
Options for regaining eligibility
Here is what convicted students can do:
- Complete a rehabilitation program: To do so, the program must receive funds from a federal, or state government, or a federally licensed insurance company. FAFSA may also deem the program acceptable if it’s conducted or recognized by a credible hospital, health clinic or medical doctor.
- Pass two drug tests: Another way students can regain eligibility is by passing drug tests. The tests are typically random and must get administered by an approved rehabilitation program.
Students shouldn’t face setbacks for one mistake
A one-time mistake should not make a current or prospective student’s life more difficult. Those who have a drug charge on their record and worry about how it could impact their financial aid may want to speak with an attorney. They can address any concerns they have and help them examine expungement options.