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A drug conviction may ruin your college budget

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2021 | Drug Charges |

From LSU to Loyola University, Louisiana has some excellent colleges for students to obtain four-year degrees. With annual tuition regularly costing tens of thousands of dollars, though, students often need financial aid to turn their academic dreams into reality.

If you are preparing your college budget, you have undoubtedly completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application determines eligibility for government-backed loans, grants and work-study funds.

Drug convictions and the FAFSA

The FAFSA inquires about drug convictions. If you have a conviction for possessing or selling a controlled substance, you must disclose it on the FAFSA. Unlike many other types of offenses, such as a simple DWI, a drug-related conviction may result in an immediate suspension of your federal student aid.

The length of your suspension

If you have a conviction for a drug-related offense when you are already receiving federal financial aid, you may face a one-year, two-year or indefinite suspension of your government-backed financial assistance. The length of the suspension depends on both the nature of the drug offense and whether you are a repeat offender.

Options for restoring financial aid

A suspension of your federal financial aid may make paying for higher education virtually impossible. Fortunately, you probably have a couple options for restoring your financial aid. First, you may simply wait until the suspension period lapses.

Alternatively, you may be able to end the suspension early by completing a drug rehabilitation program. Passing two surprise drug tests may also work. Either way, to ensure you receive the financial aid you deserve, you should immediately notify your college or university of your efforts.