Can a drug conviction impact financial aid eligibility?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2019 | drug charges

As a Missouri parent with a child in college, you probably hope that the guidance you gave your child before he or she left the nest will be enough to keep your son or daughter out of serious trouble in your absence. Unfortunately, though, many students wind up experimenting with drugs or alcohol during the college years, and if they are also recipients of financial aid, they could face harsh repercussions if convicted of drug-related crimes.

Per U.S. News & World Report, just about any type of drug conviction can impact your child’s ability to receive financial aid, provided that your child’s arrest occurred during a time when he or she was already a recipient of federal assistance. In other words, if your child’s arrest took place when he or she was home on summer break, and he or she was not currently utilizing financial aid for summer classes, the arrest should not impact financial aid eligibility.

If, however, your child’s drug arrest occurred, say, after a college party, or during, say, homecoming weekend, you can count on him or her losing access to financial aid for a certain period. The length of time your child will be ineligible for aid, however, will vary based on the severity of the drug crime and his or her existing criminal record, if applicable.

Say, for example, that law enforcement officers find your son or daughter in possession of a small, personal stash of drugs. If your child has never been in trouble with drugs before, he or she may only lose financial aid eligibility for one year. For more serious drug convictions, however, your child could lose access to aid for two years, or possibly indefinitely.

This copy about the link between drug convictions and financial aid eligibility is meant for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice.