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Drug convictions no longer affect financial aid eligibility

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2022 | Drug Crimes

When you send your child off to college in Illinois, you may find that he or she behaves in ways that are uncharacteristic after getting that first taste of freedom. Many young adults experiment with drugs or alcohol once they leave the nest and attend college. However, sometimes, these actions have serious repercussions. In addition to possible criminal penalties, your child may face sanctions from his or her own school after a drug-related criminal offense.

However, Federal Student Aid, an Office of the U.S. Department of Education, notes that if your child uses financial aid to attend school, a drug offense no longer impacts his or her financial aid eligibility moving forward.

The old rules

In the past, having a drug conviction of any type could make college students ineligible to use financial aid for a year, two years or even longer. Drug sales, drug possession and drug distribution convictions could have all made your student ineligible for government aid. However, many have long opposed taking financial aid away from students with drug offenses. The main argument against doing so was that it was an ineffective way to get young adults to abstain from using drugs.

The new rules

Before, answers your child submitted about drug offenses when filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid determined if he or she could continue to use federal assistance. Your child may still find that questions about drug convictions appear on the FAFSA form. However, your child’s answers are no longer going to disqualify him or her from receiving aid.

While drug offenses no longer impact your child’s financial aid eligibility, a drug conviction may still lead to considerable legal or academic trouble. This may prove especially true if your child’s drug offense was a violation of his or her school’s honor code.