Getting a higher education is something that many people desire. Others might want to go to a trade school to learn a trade. In both of these cases, federal student aid might help to make getting such an education possible. Many people can get it without too much difficulty, but for people who have a criminal conviction, getting any type of federal financial aid might prove to be a bit more challenging.

The exact way that a criminal conviction will impact your eligibility depends on a couple of factors. The first is what the charge was. Typically, financial aid will be very difficult to obtain if you are convicted of a drug charge. It is possible to get treatment and regain your eligibility, so if you are interested in this, you need to speak to a financial aid counselor to determine what you need to do.

The other factor that might impact your eligibility is how long it has been since your conviction. It is possible that the clock will start when you are convicted, but it might not start until you have completed your sentence. This is another question that you need to ask the financial aid counselor since you don’t want to waste your time and get your hopes up.

There is also the matter of whether you were on financial aid when the alleged crime occurred. A drug crime that occurs when you are receiving federal student aid can disqualify you from being able to receive future assistance.

You should think about the consequences that you might face with your school if this is the avenue you choose to pursue. This can have a direct impact on your defense options.

Source: Federal Student Aid, “Students With Criminal Convictions,” accessed April 06, 2018