If you are a parent of a college-aged teen, you have probably been saving for his or her higher education for years. This makes sense, as obtaining a bachelor’s degree has become almost unbelievable expensive. In fact, according to First Financial Bank, the average cost to attend a public school in the U.S. is currently more than $27,000 per year.
You probably do not have to cover these expenses on your own, fortunately. After all, the U.S. Department of Education awards loans, grants and work-study funds to millions of college-bound individuals every year. Still, you may wonder if your child can keep his or her financial aid after a drug conviction.
The old rule
In the past, the DOE immediately suspended the federal financial aid of any recipient with a drug conviction. This approach made little sense, as it proved virtually worthless in deterring college-aged students from using controlled substances. Luckily, the DOE’s harsh rule is now a relic of the past.
A new approach
The DOE recently announced it would no longer consider drug convictions when determining eligibility for government-guaranteed financial aid. Therefore, your child is probably not at risk of losing the loans, grants and work-study funds the federal government provides.
Still some risks
While the DOE’s policy change is certainly good news, your son or daughter may still have some risks. Following a drug conviction, his or her college may implement discipline. This discipline may force your child to attend a more expensive school. The private scholarships your teen receives also may disappear.
Ultimately, to keep college as affordable as possible, it may be advisable to prepare an aggressive defense against any drug charges your son or daughter is facing.