Can a drug conviction impact financial aid eligibility?

While it is not at all uncommon for some college students across South Dakota to experiment with alcohol or drugs, doing so as a recipient of federal financial aid has the potential to cause you considerable financial hardship. Similarly, if you are the parent of a South Dakota college student and your student receives a criminal charge for a drug-related crime, you may face substantial financial repercussions if that charge ultimately leads to a conviction.

Why? These days, just about any type of drug conviction can impact a student’s financial aid eligibility, and if your child receives a conviction for a drug charge, you can pretty much count on him or her losing financial aid access for a certain period.

How long can your child lose access to federal aid?

While drug sales, drug possession and intent to sell drug convictions all have the potential to lead to a loss of financial aid eligibility, exactly how long your child can expect to go without it after a conviction depends on several distinct circumstances. The two primary factors that determine how long your child will lose access to financial aid are whether he or she has offended before and just how serious of a drug crime he or she committed in the first place.

First-time drug offenders who receive convictions for, say, possessing a small stash of personal drugs typically only become ineligible for financial aid for one year. In situations where the drug crimes are more serious in nature, though, or in circumstances where your child has already received drug convictions in the past, your student could potentially lose access to federal financial aid indefinitely.

It is important to recognize, however, that when your child’s arrest occurred is tremendously important. To lose access to financial aid on account of a drug conviction, authorities must have arrested your son or daughter during a period when he or she was already utilizing federal financial aid.

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