1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Criminal Law
  4.  » Drug convictions no longer affect college financial aid

Drug convictions no longer affect college financial aid

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2021 | Criminal Law |

For many Mississippians, the college years are a highlight of life. After all, not only are you likely to obtain an education that helps you achieve your future career goals, but you also may have experiences you never thought possible. Experimenting with drugs, though, could be a mistake.

A conviction for possessing or distributing a controlled substance is likely to have a negative effect on your life. There is some good news, however. That is, you no longer have to worry about a suspension of your government-backed grants, loans or work-study funds.

A change in policy

In the past, those completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid had a duty to disclose drug convictions. If you had one, you were likely to face an immediate suspension of your government-subsidized financial aid. Since January 2021, that is no longer the case.

While you still must disclose drug convictions during your award period, you are not at risk of losing your financial aid. You must, however, complete an additional worksheet to describe your drug conviction. It is important to answer drug-related questions honestly, as providing misleading information may constitute fraud.

The rest of your college budget

Nowadays, many students use both government-guaranteed aid and private scholarships to pay for college tuition and fees. While a drug conviction does not endanger your public financial assistance, it may preclude you from receiving private scholarship dollars.

Before accepting a plea deal, it is critical to understand all the consequences of your actions. Ultimately, it may be advisable to mount a defense to keep your private scholarship funds intact.