College students across Massachusetts and the nation often experiment once they get their first tastes of freedom. However, as the parent of a Massachusetts college student, you may want to have a conversation with your son or daughter about what is at stake if he or she chooses to do so.
Per Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, if your college student experiments with drugs and receives a drug conviction, it may impact his or her ability to use financial aid.
Losing financial aid eligibility
Any type of drug violation may lead to financial aid ineligibility. However, the length of time your child might become ineligible for financial assistance may vary based on whether he or she has offended before and the type of drug conviction received. For a minor drug offense, your son or daughter might become ineligible for aid for a year. For a more serious drug offense, he or she may become ineligible for aid indefinitely.
Regaining financial aid eligibility
If losing financial aid makes it difficult or impossible for your college student to attend school, he or she may be able to regain access to it by doing one of two things. Passing two unannounced drug tests is one way to potentially do so. Completing a rehabilitation program is another. An approved provider has to administer the drug tests or conduct the rehabilitation program for your child’s efforts to impact financial aid eligibility.
Many have long argued that taking away a student’s financial aid package and ability to earn an education is an ineffective way of handling drug offenses. However, for now, the rule remains in place.