As a parent, you did everything possible to raise good kids. While you expect your children to figure out who they are when they go to college, you may not be able to keep them out of trouble. If the student in your family tries drugs, for example, he or she may encounter some serious legal penalties following an arrest.
While there are ways to minimize the negative effects of a drug arrest, you may worry about your child’s loss of academic financial aid. In the past, a conviction for any drug-associated offense triggered an automatic suspension of government-backed loans and grants. Luckily, that is not the case anymore.
The Department of Education has changed its policy
According to the DOE, a drug conviction no longer endangers government-guaranteed financial aid. That is, your child’s arrest or conviction for possessing or even distributing controlled substances has no bearing on his or her eligibility for federal academic assistance. This change in policy comes after decades of denying students with drug convictions access to federal dollars.
Your child must disclose drug convictions
Even though your child will not lose government-backed financial aid following a drug arrest or conviction, he or she still has an obligation to notify the DOE about the conviction. To do so, your son or daughter must answer questions about his or her criminal background. This may include completing a financial aid worksheet to provide additional details about all drug convictions.
While the DOE’s change in policy certainly is welcome news for college and university students across the country, a drug conviction may lead to academic discipline, loss of private scholarships and other educational consequences. Ultimately, by fully exploring all possible defense options, your child may mitigate many or perhaps even all of these.