Certain types of legal trouble may impact your college student’s financial aid eligibility, putting an end to your son or daughter’s ability to use federal financial aid for a year or longer. Per Federal Student Aid, an Office of the U.S. Department of Education, any type of drug conviction your child receives while already a recipient of financial aid may make him or her ineligible for it moving forward.

Drug sales convictions count, and so, too, do convictions for simple possession, among other offenses. However, if your child becomes ineligible for financial aid because of a drug conviction, he or she may be able to regain eligibility earlier than expected.

Filling out the FAFSA

When filling out the Federal Application for Student Aid each year, your child must answer truthfully in the section of the form that asks about whether he or she had any drug convictions while using aid in the past. If your student answers yes, he or she must fill out more information to see if financial aid is still a possibility.

If your child fills out the FAFSA form and receives a drug conviction after doing so, not only might it impact aid eligibility going forward, but he or she may also have to return any aid used during that period.

Becoming eligible for aid again

If your college student does become ineligible for aid due to a drug conviction, there are two ways to potentially become eligible again without waiting the full ineligibility period. He or she may pass an approved drug rehab program. Conversely, he or she may pass two surprise drug tests administered by an approved provider.