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How do drug convictions affect student aid?

If you get a drug conviction in Florida, it could put your college plans in jeopardy. Drug crimes can affect your eligibility for financial aid, but this is something many students do not understand or even know about. Here's some helpful information you should know before you end up putting yourself at risk of being banned from financial aid.

U.S. News and World Report notes that for a drug conviction to count against you for financial aid purposes, you must be receiving financial aid at the time. Upon conviction, you lose your eligibility to receive aid for a time based on how many times you have previously been in trouble. If it is your first time, you are ineligible for two years. After that, you lose eligibility forever. 

You can earn your eligibility back by going through a rehabilitation program if you are on a first or second offense. If you have lost your eligibility for life, you may also be able to get it back if you can pass two random drug tests. 

Generally, these rules apply to convictions based on possessing or selling drugs. Trafficking is a more severe offense, which may carry more severe consequences and may not follow the same rules as other convictions. 

The good news is that in recent years the rules have been relaxed to these new standards. Before there was little room for you to earn back your eligibility and much easier for you to lose your eligibility for any criminal charges involving drugs. This information is intended to educate and is not legal advice. 

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Ian F. Mann, P.A.
1424 Dean Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901

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