If you have a criminal record, your ability to get federal student loan money may be limited.
Student Loan Eligibility and Drug Crimes
If you were convicted of a drug crime while receiving federal student loans, your eligibility to receive further money may be suspended.
If you were convicted of one drug crime, you are ineligible to receive such funds for one year if that crime consisted of possession only, or two years if it consisted of distribution or sale. If you are facing a second drug crime conviction, you are ineligible for two years from date of conviction for a possession offense, and ineligible indefinitely for a distribution or sale. on any third drug-related conviction you are indefinitely ineligible.
However, you can regain eligibility for federal student loan money via an early reinstatement option by successfully completing a drug rehabilitation program, or by passing two random drug tests administered by a drug rehabilitation program.
If you are convicted of the drug crime after you have already received your student loan money for the year, you may be required to return that money.
Even a Minor Drug Crime is Serious
Consequently, any drug crime, no matter how small or how large, is a matter of serious importance to any student receiving federal student loan money. If you are a college student, any drug case should be taken seriously, and a criminal defense attorney should be retained to handle your case. A defense lawyer may be able to avoid a conviction either via a dismissal or deferred judgement, and as a result, preserve your ability to continue funding of your education.
Student Loan Eligibility and Other Crimes
Other criminal convictions do not by themselves prevent you from being eligible to receive student loan money. However, if you are incarcerated, you cannot get federal student loans, but may be able to get Federal Work Study.
Of course, most universities do exact serious disciplinary measures against their students when their students face criminal charges, sometimes even before their case is resolved, or even before their first court appearance. Many universities will suspend a student for as little as a minor in possession ticket followed by some small issue with marijuana such as public consumption of marijuana, which remains illegal in Colorado. Do not wait for your university to act against you before mitigating the situation and taking charge of your academic future.