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Financial Aid Will Likely Be Withdrawn with Your Drug Conviction

Jan. 5, 2018

If belonging to the "in" crowd requires you to take part in using or possessing drugs, then you might want to reconsider who you typically surround yourself with.

Aside from being illegal in Virginia, drug possession, selling, manufacturing and distribution violate federal law. Depending on what drug you're caught with and how much of it you have on you, you may be facing a lengthy jail sentence or hefty fines if convicted of a related offense.

The buck doesn't stop there, though. In addition to the aforementioned, a conviction for a drug crime will likely result in you losing your ability to receive student aid from the federal government. Considering how many students rely on loans to attend college, losing that help with tuition bills could spell the end to your college career.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, it asks whether you've ever been convicted of a drug offense while receiving federal funds. If you answer yes, then you'll likely be directed to complete a worksheet. Depending on your responses to the additional questions posed, it may be determined that you no longer qualify for federal student aid.

If you happen to lose support, then you won't necessarily lose your opportunity to participate in a federal work-study program or to receive loans or grants permanently. Instead, you will have your right to receive them suspended. You'll need to demonstrate that you've taken part in a federally approved rehabilitation program for drug offenders to be eligible to receive aid once again.

Depending on when you complete the course, it may be possible for you to procure aid for a portion of the school year that's left. If you're convicted of a drug offense after having your suspension lifted, then you may be asked to return aid that was previously awarded as well.

If you've been arrested and charged with possessing narcotics, then a Christianburg, Virginia, attorney can provide guidance as to potential defense strategies that can be pursued in your case.