When it comes to criminal offenses, you could lose your eligibility for financial aid. In the past, students could lose their eligibility for minor drug offenses, but now, you may still qualify, regardless of your offense.
If you face drug charges while receiving financial aid, you do not have to worry about a suspension of aid. However, you could encounter obstacles if you face incarceration for those crimes.
Should you apply for financial aid if incarcerated?
In prison, you cannot receive the Federal Pell Grant or federal student loans. While you can apply for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Federal Work-Study, you may still have difficulties obtaining the aid. While in a correctional facility, you may find it challenging to perform an FWS job and so you may not receive FWS money. Additionally, priority goes to students who receive the Federal Pell Grant.
If you plan to attend college following your incarceration, you may want to still apply in advance so that you can receive the aid once you start.
How do prison education programs affect student aid?
Starting in July of 2023, you may be able to receive the Federal Pell Grant even when incarcerated in a federal or state penal facility. However, you must enroll in a qualified correctional facility education program to receive the funds.
If you face charges due to a drug offense, you do not have to give up your education plans. In fact, continuing and finishing your education will increase your prospects if you have convictions on your record.