An arrest because of illegal drugs in California will not just land you in jail facing a criminal charge. It may also have an impact on your ability to get an education. The Drug Enforcement Administration explains that a conviction for a drug crime may suspend your ability to get federal financial aid.

Since most students cannot afford college without financial aid, this may be a major problem. If you already have a drug conviction or you are facing one, it is essential that you understand how this may affect your financial aid eligibility.

The good news

The good news about a drug conviction is that it will only have an effect on your eligibility if you were receiving financial aid at the time of your conviction. If it happened before you received aid or during a time when you were not receiving aid, then it should not hurt your eligibility.

The bad news

If you end up with a conviction and you have already received your financial aid, then you may have to pay it back. In addition, if you have a conviction that makes you ineligible, you will lose all access to any aid through federal sources.

Something to note

If you lose eligibility, your rights to aid are under suspension. You must wait until the end of the suspension period unless you can regain your rights quicker by removing the conviction from your record, completing a drug rehabilitation program and/or passing random drug testing.

Using illegal drugs can ruin your future in many ways. If you end up unable to continue your education, it could be a slippery slope to a lifetime of difficulties. It is essential that you safeguard your eligibility for financial aid so you can get an education and work towards a better future.