New York Students receiving federal financial aid for school may be surprised to learn that they can lose their financial aid if they are convicted of drug charges. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form asks whether you’ve been convicted of drug charges while on financial aid. If you answer yes, you will need to answer additional questions to determine your eligibility.
If you are ineligible for federal student aid
If you have been convicted of drug charges while on federal financial aid, your eligibility may be suspended. If this happens, there are a few ways to reinstate your financial aid.
You will need to take an approved drug rehabilitation course and successfully complete it. Another way to reinstate your financial aid is to pass two random drug tests given by the drug rehabilitation program. Should your eligibility for financial aid be reinstated during the school year, you must contact a financial aid office as soon as possible to receive this assistance again.
If you have recently applied for federal student aid
If you were convicted of drug charges after submitting your FAFSA but before being awarded financial aid, you can lose eligibility. You will also be responsible for repaying any financial aid you received while you were considered ineligible.
Past convictions do not automatically make you ineligible
Although you may be reluctant to answer “yes” to whether you’ve been convicted of drug charges in the past, it does not mean you are automatically ineligible for federal financial aid. Factors like whether you were tried as an adult, convictions removed from your record and if the convictions occurred when you were not receiving financial aid will factor into the final decision. Be certain to answer all questions asked on your FAFSA application truthfully.