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Federal student aid and your criminal conviction

| Dec 28, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

Even while dealing with criminal charges in Texas, you may wish to continue your college education. Utilizing the resources available to you, participating in educational courses can improve your life and increase your opportunities to live successfully after paying any required legal consequences. 

In order to continue your education, you may need financial assistance. Understanding how your criminal background impacts your eligibility to receive Federal Student Aid can help you to pursue assistance with confidence. 

FAFSA eligibility

While your eligibility to receive FAFSA will feel the strain of a criminal conviction, there are still resources available to you for financial aid. According to the department of Federal Student Aid, you may still have the option of applying for a federal student grant depending on your circumstances. However, you cannot apply for any work study programs or federal student loans. 

Once you have paid all legal consequences, reinstatement of your eligibility will allow you to apply for Federal Student Aid as normal. There are places on the application that ask about your involvement in criminal activity. Based on the information you provide and an additional worksheet, evaluators will assess whether or not your conviction will permanently affect your eligibility. 

Loan deferment

If you currently have Federal Student Aid and cannot use it until you address the circumstances of your crime, you should immediately notify the department of Federal Student Aid. Failure to do so could result in your financial aid going into default. This could create ongoing and stressful financial difficulties because of incurred penalties for delinquent resources. Explaining your situation to the department may provide you the option to defer your financial aid until you can reasonably repay what you owe.