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A criminal conviction can affect college financial aid

Whether you just graduated high school and are getting ready to head off to college in the fall or you have been working toward your college degree for some time now, a criminal conviction can mess up your education plans. Did you know that, if convicted of a crime, you may become ineligible to receive financial aid? As most people require some sort of monetary assistance while in pursuit of a degree, this may kill your college dreams.

How is it that a criminal conviction can affect your ability to receive financial aid? Is there anything you can do to regain the ability to obtain this much-needed monetary support?

Drug crimes and student aid

If convicted for a drug crime, yes, it may not be possible to obtain federal student aid, at least for a while. If you are able to complete an approved rehabilitation program, you may regain eligibility.

Federal student aid limited to incarcerated individuals

If the penalties associated with your conviction require your incarceration, you may be able to receive some level of federal student aid. It all depends on where you serve your time. If you end up in a state or federal institution, you are not eligible to receive federal student loans or a Pell Grant. You may, on the other hand, be able to obtain Federal Work-Study funds or a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. The chances of achieving either are slim, though.

If you end up in another type of institution to serve your time, you still will not be eligible to receive federal student loans. You may, however, qualify for a:

  • Pell Grant
  • FSEO Grant
  • FWS funds

Again, the chances of obtaining any of these are not great.

Financial aid available to those on parole

If you receive parole, you may now qualify for financial aid. It all depends on why the court convicted you in the first place. If your conviction had to do with drugs, alcohol or various forms of abuse, it is possible that you’ll have limits set on your eligibility.

Fight to save your college dream

If charged with a crime in the state of Oklahoma, the best thing you can do to save your college dream is defend yourself. Thankfully, you do not have to do that alone. With assistance, it may be possible to avoid conviction entirely or seek to minimize any consequences associated with an unfavorable verdict.