How drug convictions endanger financial aid eligibility

Higher education is unquestionably expensive, and many college students and families across Pennsylvania rely on federal financial aid to help them pay for a college education. At Engle, Kauffman & VanHorn, P.C., we recognize that drug convictions have the potential to make financial aid recipients ineligible to receive federal assistance any longer. We have helped many college students facing drug charges defend themselves and fight to maintain financial aid eligibility after their arrests. 

According to U.S. News & World Report, if you are already receiving federal financial aid and authorities charge, and then convict, you of a drug-related crime, you are likely going to experience a period of ineligibility for financial aid. To lose your financial aid, your arrest must have occurred when you were an active recipient of it, however, so not all drug convictions will automatically lead to financial aid ineligibility. 

Just how long should you anticipate going without financial aid following a drug conviction, if your arrest takes place during the school year? Ultimately, this is going to depend largely on two factors: the seriousness of the drug conviction and whether you have any other drug convictions already.
If you are facing a highly serious drug conviction, such as a drug sales conviction, you run the risk of losing your ability to utilize federal financial aid indefinitely. 

If you are a first- or second-time offender, you may be able to regain your financial aid eligibility early by participating in a rehabilitation program. You must successfully pass two drug tests during the program’s duration in order to potentially do so.