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A Drug Conviction Could Affect Your Educational Opportunities
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A Drug Conviction Could Affect Your Educational Opportunities

You want to attend a trade school, vocational school, or apply to the college of your choice. However, you have a drug conviction on your record. Drug cases and a conviction may derail your future educational opportunities. Below are some things to consider if you received a conviction in a drug case.

Will a College Reject Me Because of a Drug Conviction?

A drug conviction can make applying to college and gaining admission difficult. According to a survey by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and the Center for Community Alternatives as many as 66 percent of all colleges perform background checks before granting student admission. According to the survey report, however, not all schools consider the background check in their admissions processes. Private schools and four-year schools are more likely to collect and use such information in the admissions process. State and two-year schools are less likely to do so.

How Do I Answer My Application Questions?

Although a drug case conviction can make acceptance more difficult, you may still gain admission to some schools. Answer any questions about criminal conduct on your applications in truthful and forthcoming ways. If the application asks about prior crimes, answer honestly. If the school asks you to order a background check, comply with the request. Not doing so may automatically deny you admission. If a school grants you an interview, own your past, but also highlight your other accomplishments and emphasize how you will overcome your conviction and not let it define you.

Can I Get Federal Student Aid With a Drug Conviction?

Education is expensive! Many educational opportunities require a student to seek federal student aid, including:

  • Grants

  • Loans

  • Work study

Grants are financial aid that students generally do not need to repay if you stay enrolled in school. Loans are money that you borrow with the promise that you will repay them with interest. Work study is a program through which you can earn money with a job at school to help you pay for school expenses. All of these types of federal aid require you to complete a FAFSA application.

Unfortunately, a drug related conviction can limit eligibility for federal student aid. The FAFSA will ask you if you were ever convicted of a drug related offense. Depending on the circumstances, you might not qualify for aid because of your drug case, or you may need to complete additional steps to become eligible. Furthermore, if you receive financial aid when the drug case conviction took place, you might lose eligibility and must return the funds.

Contact a Columbia Criminal Attorney Today for Advice

Applying for college already creates enough stress. Applying with a drug conviction makes it even harder. For advice about the process and to understand your rights, contact Columbia criminal attorney at The Law Offices of Lori S. Murray at (803) 779-4472.


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