Should you mention your drug conviction on your FAFSA?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2022 | blog, Criminal Defense

Few life experiences are more impactful than attending college. When you are pursuing higher education, you meet new people and try new things. According to the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, college graduates also earn significantly more than those who only have high school diplomas.

Still, paying for a four-year degree can be challenging. If you meet certain financial requirements, though, you may be eligible for government-backed financial aid. In the past, the U.S. Department of Education refused to give grants, loans and work-study funds to those with drug convictions. That policy no longer exists, thankfully.

The Free Application for Federal Financial Aid

To determine whether you qualify for government assistance, you must file the FAFSA by June 30 or your school’s deadline, whichever is earlier. When you complete the form, you are likely to see some questions about your criminal history.

If your criminal history includes a drug conviction, the FAFSA’s instructions probably tell you to disclose it. To do so, you simply answer affirmatively to the relevant question. Then, the FAFSA directs you to complete and file a supplemental worksheet.

While this worksheet is straightforward, you should give it the attention it deserves. Specifically, you should provide honest and complete information about your drug conviction.

Your peace of mind

There really is no reason to provide misleading information on the FAFSA. After all, your drug conviction should have no bearing on your eligibility for financial aid. Moreover, providing untruthful information may expose you to harsh consequences, including a suspension of future financial aid or even criminal prosecution.

Ultimately, by devoting sufficient time and effort to completing your FAFSA, you are likely to gain some valuable peace of mind before you start your college career.