Do drug convictions affect financial aid eligibility?

Posted by Aaron D. Lawrence | Jan 10, 2022 | 0 Comments

College students fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) form when they want to be considered or apply for federal financial aid to pay for school. They must do so each year they hope to use financial assistance. On the FAFSA form are questions about the student's history and whether he or she received any convictions for drug-related crimes. Until recently, how a student answered these questions determined whether that student would be eligible for financial aid in the year to come.

According to Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, a college student's honest answers about whether he or she received any drug convictions in the past year are no longer going to prevent him or her from receiving aid.

The old rule

In the past, any drug conviction, regardless of type, could make a college student unable to use federal aid for a year, two years or even longer. How long a student would become ineligible for aid would depend on certain factors. These factors include the seriousness of the drug offense and whether that student had any prior infractions.

The new rule

Many have long felt that penalizing students by taking away their financial aid was not an effective way to get them to abstain from substance abuse. Instead, many argued that getting a college education is a good way to get back on the right track and avoid criminal behavior. Now, college students who have drug convictions may report their convictions without worrying that, by doing so, they are making themselves ineligible for aid.

While answers about drug convictions no longer affect financial aid eligibility, these questions still appear on the FAFSA form. Also, while drug violations no longer impact aid eligibility, they may still lead to serious criminal consequences. For help navigating the difficult process and obtaining a result to best fit your personal priorities call Lawrence Law Firm for a consultation today.

The blog published by Lawrence Law Firm is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing blog posts, the reader understands there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.

About the Author

Aaron D. Lawrence

Aaron is a Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Attorney in Ruston, Louisiana. He received his Juris Doctor and Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law from the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center. He received his Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences from the University of North Tex...


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