If you are currently putting your son or daughter through college, you may have talked about boundaries and abstaining from drug or alcohol abuse while there. You may also be relying on some federal assistance in the form of financial aid. If, your child receives a conviction for a drug-related crime while in college, he or she can lose his or her ability to hold on to that aid.
Just what types of drug convictions can prevent students from receiving financial aid?
Federal and state drug convictions
Almost any state or federal drug conviction can prevent your son or daughter from receiving financial aid for a given period, although the length of that period varies based on certain details surrounding the crime. For example, if your child is convicted of drug possession and it is the first time he or she ever faced such a charge, your college student may be able to start receiving aid again one year later.
A second possession charge can lead to a two-year loss of financial aid, while any subsequent possession charges can lead to indefinite suspension of financial assistance. If, however, your child is facing a more serious drug crime, such as selling or conspiring to sell drugs, he or she may lose access to financial aid for even longer following a conviction.
Why the date of the crime matters
To lose financial aid eligibility because of a drug conviction, your child must have committed the crime during a time when he or she was actively receiving federal assistance. In other words, say authorities arrest your son at a fraternity party shortly after the school year starts. In such a scenario, your son would likely lose access to financial aid. If, however, authorities arrested your son at the beach over the summer and he was not an active student receiving financial aid, he will likely not have to deal with this collateral consequence.
In short, drug convictions, depending on certain circumstances, can keep your child from receiving financial aid, so educate your child about the dangers of using or being around drugs to avoid losing this vital assistance.