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Can your child lose financial aid after a drug conviction?

College involves a major investment, and if you are like many parents of college students, you may have worked hard to secure financial aid for your child. While financial aid may have given your child the ability to attend college, his or her actions while there also have the potential to put a stop to that aid.

According to Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, if a judge or jury convicts your child on a drug-related criminal charge while your child is receiving financial aid, the conviction impacts financial aid eligibility moving forward.

A controversial rule

Any type of drug conviction may impact financial aid eligibility. However, many people oppose this rule. Some argue that it does not make sense to punish college students by making it harder for them to continue their education. Others say that the rule is especially troublesome for minority students because they are frequent targets of drug enforcement efforts.

How to reclaim eligibility

If your college student does become ineligible for financial assistance for a period as a result of drugs, there are two things he or she may do to start receiving aid again early. The first way to do so involves taking and passing two drug tests administered by an approved drug rehabilitation program. The second way involves completing an approved substance abuse rehabilitation program.

If your child completes rehab or passes two drug tests through an approved provider, inform the financial aid office right away. That way, your child may start receiving financial aid again as soon as possible.