Even if you go to a public university, you can expect to spend thousands of dollars each year on tuition, fees, books and other academic expenses. Fortunately, if you qualify, you may be eligible for government-backed loans, work-study funds or grants.
If you have a drug-related conviction during your award period, you may trigger an immediate suspension of your federal financial aid. It is critical to comply with the terms of this suspension, as you may have to repay any funds you spend inappropriately.
Waiting out drug-related suspensions
The length of your federal financial aid suspension is likely to depend on the nature of the offense. Whether you have any prior drug-related convictions may also be relevant. Either way, one-year, two-year and indefinite suspensions are possible. Your first option for restoring financial aid eligibility is simply to wait until the suspension lapses on its own.
Ending the suspension early
Because waiting out a drug-related suspension may derail your educational goals, you may want to end the suspension early. You typically have two options for doing so:
- Attend and complete a rehabilitation program at a school-approved facility
- Successfully pass two unannounced drug tests at your university
Communicating with your college
Financial aid advisors are busy, so yours may not realize you have taken the necessary steps to restore your financial aid eligibility. Accordingly, you may have to communicate frequently with the financial aid office to ensure you receive the funds you need to pay for school.
While a drug-related suspension of your federal financial aid is likely to cause you significant stress, you should not panic. Ultimately, by understanding the suspension and taking steps to end it, you can likely get your college career back on track.