Criminal conviction disqualification from federal student aid

| Apr 28, 2021 | Blog, Criminal Defense |

Many prospective college students in Louisiana will depend on financial aid when attending post-secondary training schools because the price of education even for a frugal program of work can be expensive. Luckily, there are multiple sources of financial aid available for most students beyond eligibility for federal aid such as a Pell Grant. However, there can be some restrictions when applying for federal aid for those who have been convicted of certain crimes. Those primary crimes are convictions on charges stemming from drug activity or sexual offenses that require civil registration as a convicted sex offender after the fact.

Drug crimes

The primary conviction category that can restrict eligibility for federal financial aid is a drug charge of any kind, and especially one that occurs during a period in which financial aid is being used to attend school. Not only do drug convictions apply to the Pell Grant, they also restrict convicted students in the availability of guaranteed college loans regardless of the presented criminal defense. Students may also enroll in a reinstatement program that includes attending and completing a certified drug rehabilitation course. In addition, no one may receive aid if they are incarcerated during a scheduled financial aid benefit year. The restrictions are typically removed once an incarceration term is completed, and reinstatement authorization can include periods of probation or parole.

Sex offenses

Being convicted of sex crimes also presents even more of a problem for aspiring students.
Those convicted of sex offenses that require reporting their address as a persistent sex offender are automatically excluded from any eligibility for a Pell Grant as well as guaranteed federal loans. These are permanent designations that cannot be rehabilitated through certified programs, and retaining an aggressive criminal defense attorney is essential when fighting criminal sex charges when the defendant is planning continuing education.

Anyone who is considering college and facing a conviction for either a drug offense of a criminal sex charge should always consult with an attorney when making a decision on what path to follow ongoing in life. A conviction for either charge category could impact future employment along with future education, and it is often necessary to actually redirect life goals when being saddled with a conviction for either type of criminal charges.