Anthony M. Salerno

Attorney At Law

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Anthony M. Salerno

Attorney At Law

How do drug charges affect FAFSA eligibility?

Facing drug charges can mean a temporary hold for many areas of your life. You may need to pause your education, for example, to address the charges against you and pay legal consequences in Massachusetts.

As a result of pending charges, your FAFSA eligibility may change. Understanding the impact of your situation on your eligibility to collect student aid can help you identify your next steps to avoid further penalties.

Restricted eligibility

As part of the FAFSA application, you agree to maintain specified rules of behavior. Violating these requirements can jeopardize your benefits. According to studentaid.gov, an immediate suspension of your benefits goes into effect if your drug crime happened at the time you collected FAFSA funds. In some cases, you may face a requirement to repay any benefits you already received.

The FAFSA application has a question inquiring about your past including any involvement in drug crimes. Answering this question will direct you to another form. Once completed, officials will assess whether or not your crime will impact your eligibility. You will receive correspondence notifying you of their final decision.

Other financial options

You may have the chance to get your benefits reinstated if you successfully pass two unannounced drug tests. Participating in a certified drug rehabilitation program may also expedite your efforts to get your benefits back.

If your eligibility remains suspended, there are other avenues you can consider for college funding. You may contact your school and ask for scholarships related to your area of study. Some institutions also provide work-study opportunities. You can also ask about the availability of school-sponsored loans or grants.

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