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How do drug charges affect college financial aid?

Everyone in Georgia makes a mistake at one point or another. Sometimes your mistakes may be bigger than other people's. If you have a drug charge on your record, it could pose serious trouble for you when it comes to getting financial aid for college.

US News and World Report notes the date of your conviction is important in figuring out if your financial aid eligibility will be affected. In addition, the type of charge has an impact. If you are charged with drug trafficking of any kind, then you will not be eligible for federal aid benefits. However, if you were convicted of other type of charges, such as possession, your eligibility is only affected if the conviction happened when you were receiving aid. So, if you were not convicted until you were out of school on summer break, then it will not affect your aid eligibility.

If you were convicted of a crime in one state but you attend college in another state where that crime does not exist, it is still considered a charge for federal aid purposes. This is important to note as state to state laws on marijuana use and possession vary greatly.

You may be ineligible for aid forever depending on the number of charges. There is a three strikes rule that applies. Your first charge equals one years of ineligibility. A second charge is two years, but if you have three charges, then you face a lifelong ineligibility. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.


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