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Do drug convictions affect federal financial aid eligibility?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2024 | Campus/Student Crimes |

Enacted in 2021, the FAFSA Simplification Act changes the way drug convictions affect a student’s ability to pay for school. Since its passage, students with drug convictions no longer face the same barriers to financial aid eligibility. Before, students with drug-related offenses could face disqualification from receiving federal financial aid. As a result, many became ineligible for grants, loans and work-study programs.

However, under the revised legislation, drug convictions no longer impact financial aid eligibility.

Federal financial aid eligibility changes

The FAFSA Simplification Act helps promote equal access to higher education. The act removes the restriction on financial aid eligibility for those with drug convictions. In doing so, it recognizes the importance of education as a pathway to rehabilitation. Now, students with prior drug offenses can apply for aid without fearing automatic disqualification. This enables them to pursue their educational goals and build a brighter future.

Potential college-level penalties

The FAFSA Simplification Act removes federal barriers to financial aid. However, colleges may still penalize students with drug convictions. Some schools have their own policies about admission or participation in certain programs. Thus, while the federal government no longer considers drug convictions in financial aid decisions, students may still face consequences at the institutional level.

The passage of the FAFSA Simplification Act marks a major step toward equity in higher education access. By eliminating blanket disqualifications of those with drug convictions from financial aid, the legislation opens doors for countless students seeking to further their education and improve their career prospects.