George F. Hildebrandt
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Can a drug conviction impact financial aid eligibility?

If you have recently sent or are gearing up to send your son or daughter away to college at a school in or around Syracuse, you are probably doing everything you can to guide them through the transition before you let them spread their wings and fly. While many college students experiment with alcohol or drugs after leaving the nest, few understand just how severe the consequences associated with substance abuse can prove to be.

More specifically, many college students do not realize that receiving a drug conviction of virtually any sort can prevent them from receiving federal financial aid.

Convictions that can lead to a loss of financial aid

Say your college student attends a party, and authorities catch him or her with a small amount of drugs. Even simple possession convictions can make your child ineligible for financial aid assistance for a given period, as can more serious convictions, such as drug sales or intent-to-sell convictions.

How long your child can lose access to financial aid

Ultimately, the length of time you can anticipate your child losing access to financial aid after a drug conviction depends primarily on two variables: how serious the conviction was and whether there are prior drug offenses on his or her record.

If, for example, your son or daughter is a first-time offender who receives a drug conviction for a simple possession charge, he or she may only become ineligible for federal assistance for one year. If, however, there is a more serious drug conviction and there is a prior conviction on his or her record, your college student may lose financial aid access indefinitely.

It is important to note, however, that exactly when your child’s arrest occurred will play a major role in financial aid eligibility. To lose financial aid access, authorities must have placed your child under arrest during a period in which federal assistance was active.

 

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