College is an exciting time for many young people. If you have a child who is heading off to college this year, or within the next few years, you are probably doing what you can to help prepare your child for life without his parents. Many kids who attend college for the first time try to enjoy their newfound freedom by partying or experimenting with drugs. However, doing so can result in some very serious collateral consequences that can impact your child’s ability to continue his or her education.
More specifically, if your child is a financial aid recipient and receives a conviction for a drug crime, regardless of whether it comes from the state or federal level, you can expect him or her to lose access to that financial aid for a certain amount of time. Possession convictions, distribution convictions and intent-to-distribute convictions are among the types of drug convictions that can lead to a loss of financial aid.
How long will your child remain ineligible?
The amount of time your child will be unable to receive financial aid will differ based on the specifics of the drug charge and your son or daughter’s criminal history. Simple possession crimes, for example, often lead to shorter stints of federal aid ineligibility than drug sales crimes, and this is particularly true if it is your son or daughter’s first time offending. A first-time possession offender, for instance, will generally lose access to federal aid for one year. A second-time possession offender will lose eligibility for two years, and a third-time offender, for an unspecified period.
Why the date of the arrest matters
The date authorities placed your son or daughter under arrest for a drug-related crime is extremely important, and here is why. For your son or daughter to lose financial aid eligibility, he or she must have been a recipient of federal aid at the time his or her arrest occurred. If the arrest occurred in between school years, for example, it typically will not affect financial aid at all.
Teaching your children about the collateral consequences associated with certain crimes before they leave for college can have a lasting impact on their behavior.