When faced with a campus violation, many questions will likely come to mind: How will this affect my education? Will I be able to finish my degree? What will this mean for my financial aid and scholarships?
While the ways that campus violations affect financial aid are not exactly cut and dry, violations alone are typically not too threatening to your financial aid. Most universities do not list the confiscation of financial aid and scholarships as a possible sanction for their judicial board to impose on students who have committed a violation. However, convictions of criminal charges, which often accompany certain types of university violations, have more damaging effects.
For the most part, different types of campus violations cause different implications for your financial aid, and similarly, different types of aid are affected differently by the different types of violations.
The effects on federal aid of a drug violation that results in a conviction are more clearly defined than the effects of other violations. Convictions for a drug offense cause you to lose eligibility for federal funding; however, you do have the possibility of reclaiming your eligibility.
According to Lipscomb University, on you 1st offense for the possession of illegal drugs, you will be able to regain eligibility 1 year after the date of your conviction. On your 2nd offense, you must wait 2 years from the date of your conviction. For the sale of illegal drugs, you may regain eligibility 2 years after the date of your conviction. However, if you reach your 3rd offense for possession or your 2nd offense for sale, your wait becomes listed as being for an “indefinite period.” To start receiving federal aid once you reach these higher number of offenses, your conviction for one of your drug charges must be either reversed, set aside, or removed from your record so that your total amount of offenses decreases, allowing you to regain eligibility in the future.
Another option to regain federal financial aid eligibility after a drug conviction, no matter the number of offenses, can be through successfully completing an approved drug rehabilitation program. You can also regain eligibility through passing two unannounced drug tests overseen by one of the approved drug rehabilitation programs.
Sexual offenses can also affect federal aid, but the extent to which these offenses affect your aid and the steps to regaining eligibility are not as concrete. These are taken on more of a case-by-case basis, and your eligibility for federal aid may become limited due to an offense of this nature. For example, a conviction in this category of offenses makes you ineligible to receive a Pell Grant.
For federal aid in general, for any type of criminal offense, you will be able to see how your violation or conviction will affect your ability to receive federal aid when you complete the FAFSA, as a worksheet will be provided for you to guide you through the process.
In terms of academic violations, universities vary in how they treat these offenses. Harvard has reported that students who are found to have committed plagiarism may still be charged for the rest of the semester that they are in school, which could use up financial aid or scholarship money, despite the fact the student is no longer in classes. In turn, this exhausts that portion of the student’s aid money, preventing the student from using it in future, active semesters, therefore, indirectly seizing the student’s financial aid or scholarships.
To prevent losing your scholarships or financial aid, it is important to hire an experienced college student defense attorney who will help protect your student rights and ensure minimal disruption to your financial aid and scholarships, as well as your education.
These materials have been prepared by Cohen Seglias for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.