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A drug conviction may jeopardize your child’s financial aid

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2021 | Drug Charges

You may have been saving for years for your child’s college education. Still, because annual in-state tuition in Minnesota costs more than $7,000 per year, you may need some financial assistance. Government-backed loans, grants and work-study funds may make a considerable difference.

Your son or daughter should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to determine his or her eligibility for financial assistance. A drug-related conviction during your child’s award period may jeopardize his or her financial aid.

Disclosing drug offenses

The FAFSA asks about convictions for selling or possessing controlled substances. Your child must answer these questions honestly and completely. Typically, a first-time conviction for drug possession results in a one-year suspension of federal financial aid. Multiple convictions or convictions for selling drugs may result in a two-year suspension or even an indefinite one.

Restoring eligibility

After the suspension lapses, your son or daughter once again becomes eligible or government-backed financial aid. It is possible to shorten the length of a drug-related suspension, though. To do so, your child must either complete an approved drug rehabilitation program or pass two surprise drug tests.

Notifying the school

Your child’s university may not closely monitor his or her efforts to end a drug-related suspension of federal financial aid. Therefore, it is important for your son or daughter to communicate with school officials. This is especially true if the college student in your family has satisfied the requirements to end the suspension.

Notifying the school is also critical for another reason. If your son or daughter receives funds during a valid suspension, he or she may have a legal obligation to repay the money.