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Does a criminal conviction prevent you from receiving student aid?

When the authorities charge a young person with a crime, it can have a long-lasting impact on their future. For both current and prospective college students, a guilty verdict could also limit their ability to receive financial aid.

Which crimes impact federal student aid?

The federal government offers a wide variety of student aid. Some grants are available to students regardless of their criminal history. For example, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and Federal Work-Study (FWS) grants may be available to students even after a criminal conviction. However, some crimes do leave students unable to receive the Pell Grant.

If a criminal conviction leaves a student ineligible for scholarship funds, it is possible to regain that aid. The loss of federal student aid is usually temporary. Students can often regain this assistance after a suspension period or a rehabilitation program.

Students may face additional penalties from their school.

Many students rely on school- or community-sponsored scholarships to supplement their federal aid. Criminal convictions could also impact these scholarships. If a scholarship has guidelines for behavior, criminal charges may make recipients ineligible for those funds.

Criminal convictions can also impact student athletes who receive scholarships each year. For example, alcohol-related issues can leave student athletes ineligible for athletics participation at the University of Northern Colorado. These students could lose any scholarships related to sports on campus.

Because of the long-lasting impact that criminal charges can have on students’ finances, young people should speak to an attorney after being charged. An experienced lawyer can help them explore their options, protect their rights and limit the impact that these charges have on their future.