An unfortunate incident resulted in a drug conviction, casting doubt on the future of your higher education prospects. How does the encounter with Texas law enforcement affect your chances of qualifying for student financial aid?
U.S. News & World Report helps those in your position understand where and how to focus their energies. Your conviction need not disqualify you from every financial opportunity.
Research your ineligibility
Currently, those convicted of drug possession remain ineligible for federal student aid for a year from their conviction date. Subsequent convictions extend that ineligibility interval. Did police convict you for selling drugs? If so, a first offense equals two years of aid ineligibility.
Look into maintaining your eligibility
Depending on your circumstances, you may end your ineligibility period early by passing unannounced drug rehabilitation program-administered drug tests. The same applies if you finish a drug rehab program.
Reverse the conviction
Individuals restricted from qualifying for federal student financial aid indefinitely may look into reversing or removing their drug possession conviction to regain eligibility. They may also try to set aside the conviction to change their status. This option may require an experienced legal professional’s help.
Consider alternative funding
Enduring a harsher criminal punishment, such as spending time in prison, may further diminish your financial aid options. You could have better chances applying for federal work-study, federal grants or other alternative monetary aid.
No matter the severity of your punishment, complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, anyway. Institutions use application information to provide applicants with non-federal help.
Do not write off your financial aid opportunities just yet. Approaching the matter from a different angle could help you pay for college.