When you have a son or daughter who uses financial aid to attend college, you may want to make sure your child understands how he or she could lose access to that aid. If your college student receives a drug violation while using federal financial aid to pay for school, that conviction may make him or her unable to use financial aid. The period of ineligibility may last a year, two years or even longer.
According to Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, a question about drug convictions appears on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form your child must complete every year he or she plans to use financial aid.
Reporting drug convictions
The question on the FAFSA asks if your child received any drug violations during the year prior, while he or she was already using financial aid. If your child reports receiving a conviction for drug sales, drug possession or any other type of drug offense, it may affect financial aid eligibility moving forward.
Regaining financial aid eligibility
If your child does lose access to financial aid, making it difficult or impossible for your family to pay for school, he or she may be able to take action to regain eligibility early. If your child completes a rehabilitation program or passes two random drug tests and then informs the local financial aid office, he or she may be able to start utilizing financial aid again early. However, an approved provider has to operate the drug rehab or conduct the two drug tests in order for these efforts to work.
If your student receives a drug conviction after completing the FAFSA form, he or she may have to pay back any financial aid used while your student was ineligible.