Does a drug conviction make college unaffordable?

On Behalf of | Sep 8, 2021 | Drug Crimes

Whether you intend to go to college in Texas, Arkansas or somewhere else, you undoubtedly know how expensive tuition and fees can be. According to the U.S. Department of Education, for in-state tuition, you may get a bargain at only around $10,000 per year, while out-of-state tuition may have to fork over more than $25,000 annually.

Fortunately, for many Texans and Arkansans, government-backed financial aid and private scholarships help defray the costs of higher education. If you have a conviction for a drug-related offense on your record, though, you may not qualify for these.

FAFSA-linked student aid

To understand your eligibility for government-guaranteed loans, grants or work-study funds, you must prepare and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by your college’s or university’s deadline. If you have a conviction for possessing or distributing a controlled substance during your award period, you may face an immediate suspension of your government-backed financial assistance.

While there are ways to end this suspension early, you must comply with its terms. Otherwise, you may have to repay any funds you used impermissibly.

Private scholarships and university assistance

If you have good grades, impressive athletic abilities or other unique skills, you may draw the positive attention of private scholarship organizations or your university. Keeping your scholarship, though, may depend on following a strict code of conduct. If a drug conviction violates the code of conduct of either your school or the private organization, you may lose your scholarship dollars.

When it comes to receiving financial aid, there is often a big difference between an arrest and a conviction. Ultimately, exploring every avenue for defending yourself against drug-related charges may be one of the more effective ways to keep your college goals affordable.