If your child has plans to attend college, he or she already has a plan for future financial success. In 2019 alone, the average worker with a bachelor’s degree earned about $28,000 more than one with only a high school diploma.
While the financial benefits of a college degree are clear, paying for higher education can be difficult. Lucikly, the federal government offers subsidized grants, loans and work-study funds to many college-bound students. A drug conviction, though, may result in an immediate suspension of federal student aid.
Disclosing drug convictions
If your child has a conviction for possessing or distributing a controlled substance, he or she must disclose it when completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Knowingly failing to disclose the conviction may result in serious consequences, such as a prosecution for fraud.
Facing a suspension of government-backed aid
A conviction for possessing or distributing a controlled substance during your child’s award period is likely to cut off government-backed financial aid. The length of the suspension, however, depends on both the type of offense and the number of convictions. One-year and two-year suspensions are possible, as is an indefinite one.
Restoring financial aid eligibility
Even if your child’s drug conviction triggers a suspension of federal financial aid, you should encourage him or her not to give up on college dreams. After all, your son or daughter can simply wait out the suspension. Alternatively, he or she can probably end the suspension early by completing a drug rehabilitation program or passing two unannounced drug tests.
Helping your child navigate the criminal justice system after an arrest for a drug-related offense may be one of the more challenging things you ever do as a parent. Still, by focusing on your son’s or daughter’s educational goals, you may help him or her see the light at the end of the tunnel.