Can a drug violation make a student ineligible for financial aid?

Many college students experiment with alcohol and drugs once they leave for college in New Jersey and get their first taste of freedom. However, experimenting with drugs has the potential to lead to serious, potentially life-altering penalties. In addition to criminal charges, college students who receive drug convictions while they are using federal financial aid stand to lose their ability to use financial aid for a year or even longer.

According to Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, students who wish to use financial aid to pay for school must first complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

How the FAFSA form determines financial aid eligibility

Students must fill out the FAFSA form each year they wish to use aid. On the form is a question about whether they received any drug convictions while using aid in the past. If they answer yes to this question, they must then answer more questions about the offense to determine whether it impacts financial aid eligibility. Any type of drug violation may affect a student’s financial aid eligibility, including drug possession and drug sales offenses.

How students might regain aid eligibility after a loss

There are several ways college students might be able to earn back financial aid privileges after losing them. Completing a substance abuse treatment program administered by an approved provider is one way to do so. Passing two random drug tests given by an approved provider is another.

It is up to the college students to inform their local financial aid offices once they have done what it takes to become eligible for financial aid again.

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