Do I lose federal student aid if convicted of a drug crime?

Being convicted of a crime can significantly impact your ability to get federal financial aid such as student loans and Pell grants. Current laws make imprisoned individuals ineligible to receive almost any type of federal assistance to attend college. Incarcerated individuals may technically qualify for federal work-study programs, though, provided that they can find a position that allows them to assume employment from behind bars.

You may be eligible for a federal Pell grant but not federal student loans provided that you're locked up in a nonstate or federal institution. You may also qualify for a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) while locked up, but it's highly unlikely due to the limited funds each school has available to them.

It's likely that you'll become eligible for most federal student aid options once again after your prison release. However, the federal government may bar you entirely from receiving most forms of federal aid if you have a conviction for a drug offense on your record. Being on probation or parole isn't necessarily an obstacle in receiving federal financial aid, though.

You may become ineligible for federal student loans if you're convicted of a drug offense while receiving financial aid. You may even have to pay back the amount that you received before your conviction. You may be able to get your eligibility restored by completing an approved drug rehabilitation program, though.

Having a conviction for a drug offense on your record or being currently incarcerated can dramatically limit your ability to receive federal aid to go to school here in Florida. If you're facing drug charges, then you may be looking at limited life options down the road. You'll want to work closely with an attorney if you want to have the funds available to you to complete school and pursue your chosen career on down the road in Tampa.

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