Attending college in the District of Columbia is not exactly cheap. In fact, the average annual cost of tuition and fees for a public four-year school in Washington is nearly $13,000. If you qualify for it, government-backed financial aid may help you achieve your educational goals.
To determine eligibility for grants, loans and work study, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. If you are already attending college, the FAFSA is likely to inquire about drug convictions. If you report a conviction, you must complete an additional worksheet to see if you face a suspension of your student aid.
The consequences of a drug conviction
While there are other types of drug offenses, the FAFSA specifically asks about possessing and selling controlled substances. If you have a conviction for either, you may lose your student aid temporarily or indefinitely. The length of your suspension depends on both how many convictions you have and the type of drug offenses in your criminal history.
An option for ending the suspension
If you face a two-year or indefinite suspension of your financial aid, you may not be able to complete your education. Luckily, you have an option for ending the suspension early. First, you must complete a rehabilitation program at an approved facility. Then, you must successfully pass two unannounced drug tests.
In addition to allowing you to finish your education, ending your suspension early may make financial sense. After all, the federal government may come after you for any funds you received after becoming ineligible for federal student aid.