Even though it can be a tremendous amount of fun, college also can be extraordinarily stressful. After all, not only must you keep up with your coursework, but you also may be away from home for the first time in your life.
While there are healthier ways to cope with the stress of pursuing higher education, it may be tempting to experiment with controlled substances. Regrettably, according to reporting from CBS News, teens and young adults have easier access to drugs than they have had in the past.
A harsh history
During the war on drugs, the U.S. Department of Education implemented a harsh policy. Pursuant to the policy, the DOE suspended federal-government-backed financial aid for college students who had drug convictions during their award periods. This meant students could not access subsidized loans, work-study dollars or grants.
A bright future
Fortunately, the DOE changed its harsh drug policy in early 2021. Now, college students who have drug convictions do not have to worry about losing their government-guaranteed financial aid. If you have a drug conviction in your past, however, you still must disclose it when completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
A word of caution
While a drug conviction no longer endangers your federal financial aid, you are not entirely out of the woods. Remember, a drug conviction continues to expose you to legal, academic and life consequences.
In addition to criminal penalties, you may face academic discipline from your college or university. A drug conviction may also give you a criminal record for the remainder of your life. Ultimately, exploring all possible defenses before accepting a guilty plea or blindly going to trial may help you minimize the negative consequences of any drug charges you are facing.