The Effect of Criminal Charges on School Related Issues

best-criminal-lawyer-400x284-1-300x213What Charges Affect Student Loans?

If you have been charged with a violation, you are probably wondering where else this charge may affect you, other than with the law. One area that you may be affected is through schooling. If you are incarcerated, you would have limited eligibility for the federal student aid program. But once you are released, many of those limitations are removed. There are, however, a few charges that limit your aid eligibility even after being released.

If you are receiving or applying for federal student aid, there is a chance that past criminal charges may affect you. For instance, the FAFSA, a form used by many college students to apply for federal financial aid for college or graduate school, will ask whether you have had a drug conviction for an offense that occurred while receiving aid. If your answer to this question is “yes,” you will be provided with a worksheet to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. This does not necessarily mean that you are entirely ineligible to receive federal funding, but it may mean that you are ineligible for a certain period of time.

However, if you are convicted of a drug-related offense after completing the financial aid application, you could lose your eligibility for financial aid, and may be liable for returning any aid that you received during a period of ineligibility. Ultimately, eligibility for federal student loans depends on the date and number of convictions. These two factors determine the length of time that you would be ineligible to receive financial aid.

Moreover, if you are subject to an involuntary civil commitment following incarceration for a forcible or nonforcible sexual offense, you would be ineligible for certain federal funding, such as the Federal Pell Grant.

What Charges or Disciplinary Actions Affect School?

Aside from sanctions from the state or federal government, you may also be subject to sanctions from your university if you were enrolled at the time of the violation. If you are a student employee who is supported by a federal grant or contract, you may be required to notify the university following a conviction. Additionally, many universities have their own disciplinary policies if the conviction occurred on their campus or at an off-campus school-sponsored event. In addition, many school policies allow the university to take disciplinary action (even when the violation is off-campus) if it causes a substantial disruption to the education programs on campus. The exact sanction for specific violations, however, varies between universities.

Similarly, you may also be subject to sanctions within your individual degree program if you are enrolled at the time of the violation. For example, some professions, such as nursing, have policies which state that dismissal from these majors may occur with repeated unprofessional behavior or with a criminal background resulting in a lack of clinical education support or denial of a nursing application. Because each profession has their own professional standard policies, it may be helpful to look at the policies for your specific major to determine whether you are subject to sanctions in school that may affect your completion of that degree.

Feel free to call the Webb Law Firm today at 207-283-6400 and arrange a free consultation to discuss your case. Please contact us today. We provide a free initial consultation to go over your case with you.

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