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How drug convictions may affect students

Students in Indiana who are convicted of drug-related crimes could find that the conviction affects their ability to get federal financial student aid. Students who are getting aid in the form of a work-study program, loans or grants at the time of the incident leading to the conviction could lose their eligibility.

When filling out the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid, students will be asked whether they have ever been convicted of a drug-related offenses while getting federal student aid. If they were, they will have to complete a worksheet to find out if their eligibility is affected. If the conviction happens while the student is receiving aid and the student received any financial aid during the ineligible period, there could be a requirement to pay it back.

However, a drug conviction does not mean that a student cannot ever get financial aid again. To restore eligibility, it is necessary to go through an approved drug rehabilitation program and pass two drug tests that are unannounced or have the conviction declared invalid, set aside or reversed.

As this information demonstrates, the consequences for drug-related convictions extend beyond the legal implications, and students and their families should not assume that campus crimes are not serious. Drug-related convictions may also affect a student's status in school and have consequences for future career prospects. Students who are in this situation might want to consult an attorney to talk about the implications of a conviction, how it could affect the student's future and what the options may be. For example, if a student is taken into custody on drug-related offenses, a conviction is not necessarily the only outcome. Some students may be able to prove their innocence. It may be helpful to work with an attorney who is familiar with campus procedures and disciplinary hearings for students.

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