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Do drug convictions affect financial aid eligibility?

An Arizona drug offense has the capacity to lead to many repercussions if the charge leads to a conviction. If you have a college student who currently uses federal financial aid to help pay for school, you may have concerns about whether a drug charge might impact your child’s ability to use aid moving forward.

According to Federal Student Aid, an Office of the U.S. Department of Education, drug convictions, until recently, would make your college student unable to use financial aid for at least a year. Until last year, a drug conviction could also lead to a two-year or even indefinite loss of financial aid eligibility.

The rule change

Many education proponents have long contended that penalizing drug users by making it harder for them to get an education is an ineffective way of addressing the nation’s drug problem. This led to a 2021 rule change. Since the change took effect, college students may still be eligible for financial aid even if they report having drug convictions in their histories.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Your son or daughter must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid each year he or she wishes to use federal aid. The FAFSA form still asks about whether your student has any history of drug offenses. However, his or her honest answers are no longer going to impact financial aid eligibility.

While drug offenses no longer hurt financial aid eligibility, they often still lead to serious consequences. Your college student may still face jail time, fines and other possible penalties following a drug-related arrest in Arizona.