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College students with a drug conviction may lose student aid

| Jul 23, 2020 | Drug Crimes |

Texas college students may find their federal student aid at risk if they have a drug possession or trafficking conviction.

If you report a drug conviction on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, you must also complete a supplemental worksheet. Your worksheet responses will help determine your eligibility for federal loans, grants or work-study.

The FAFSA requires drug conviction information

You may find your federal aid suspended if you meet certain criteria:

  • A court convicted you of possessing or selling drugs.
  • You were a student enrolled in school at the time of conviction.
  • Your conviction occurred while you were receiving federal aid.

Juvenile charges or charges expunged from your record do not affect eligibility.

You may have aid reinstated if you complete an approved drug rehabilitation program and pass two unannounced drug tests. An acceptable rehabilitation program must meet certain funding criteria and qualifications.

If you do not qualify for federal aid, you may have the option to receive aid from your school or other non-federal sources.

Penalties for possession and trafficking vary based on number of convictions

Students who do not meet conditions for reinstatement may lose financial aid for an extended period of time. The FAFSA worksheet prompts you to calculate the date on which you may have your aid reinstated. If you have only one drug possession conviction, you may lose aid for up to one year. If you have two possession convictions or one trafficking conviction, your eligibility reinstatement date is subject to extension for another two years.

Possession of drugs like marijuana may also result in jail time. If police find you with concentrated forms of marijuana in oils or edibles, you may face felony charges.