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How Can a Drug Conviction Impact Student Loan Eligibility?

For Iowa residents accused of a drug crime, this could mean serious penalties; however, for those currently receiving student financial aid or intending to apply for aid, the consequences of a conviction could greatly impact the future of the accused. In fact, a drug felony or misdemeanor conviction could interfere with an individual's eligibility to receive financial aid while they attend college.

How does a drug-related conviction impact student loan eligibility? If a student is convicted of either a felony or misdemeanor drug charge while they are receiving federal student aid, he or she will automatically become ineligible to receive financial aid for a specified period of time following the conviction.

The period of ineligibility is dependent on the type of drug charge and number of previous offenses. If it is the student's fist offense, he or she is ineligible for one year after conviction for the possession of illegal drugs and two years after the date of conviction for the sale of illegal drugs. For the second offense, the student is ineligible for two years after the date of conviction for the possession of illegal drugs and is indefinitely ineligible for the sale of illegal drugs for the second time. Three or more convicted offenses of either possession or sale of illegal drugs results in an indefinite period of ineligibility.

Those convicted of a drug charge are able to shorten the period of ineligibility three ways. This includes those that are indefinite. First, the student needs to complete an approved drug rehabilitation program and pass two unannounced drug tests. The second way is to pass two unannounced drug tests administered at an approved drug rehabilitation program. And the third way to shorten the period of ineligibility is to have a conviction reversed, set aside or rendered invalid.

Because financial aid is often the only way a student is able to afford college, it is important that he or she does not lose this funding. It is also critical to understand how and why a student could become ineligible because of a drug crime conviction. Those accused of a drug crime should take the time to understand the crime he or she was convicted of and the defense options available. This could help the defendant avoid serious penalties, resulting in reduced and even dismissed charges.

Source: Whitehouse.gov, "FAFSA Facts," accessed Jan. 25, 2016

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  • The Iowa State Bar Association
  • DUI Defense Law
  • NACDL
  • AAJ
  • Iowa Association of Justice

Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger 

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  • J. Dean Keegan
  • Eric D. Tindal
  • Andrea D. Jaeger
  • J. Dean Keegan J. Dean Keegan

    Owner

    Decades of Award-Winning Legal Service J. Dean Keegan was born and raised in Waterloo, Iowa. After high school, Dean served ...
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  • Eric D. Tindal Eric D. Tindal

    Attorney

    Highly Rated Criminal Defense in Iowa City Eric D. Tindal, attorney at Keegan, Tindal & Jaeger, graduated from the University ...
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  • Andrea D. Jaeger Andrea D. Jaeger

    Attorney

    Experienced Criminal Defense in the Iowa and Illinois Quad Cities Andrea D. Jaeger practices in federal and state courts, ...
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    “I was stopped for an OWI. Dean took things as far as he could with the appeals process, finding every way possible to keep me driving in the meantime (which I needed to do for my job). Dean argued the ...”

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    “I was charged with two felonies that carried a life sentence. After sitting in jail for a year with public defenders just going through the motions, I asked the judge to appoint new counsel. Eric was ...”

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  • First Degree Murder and Child Endangerment Causing Death Acquitted of First Degree Murder at Trial

    Henry County FECR005634. Attorney Tindal’s client was charged with First Degree Murder and Child Endangerment Causing Death. Following a two week trial, the Defendant was acquitted of all charges.

  • Vehicular Homicide Charges Reduced, No Incarceration Imposed

    Muscatine County FECR056673. Vehicular Homicide was reduced to Involuntary Manslaughter. Total sentence was suspended.

  • Felony Drug Charges Charges Dismissed

    Muscatine County FECR050038. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with two counts of controlled substance violation, as well as two counts of failure to affix tax stamp. After a year of court appearances and negotiating with the prosecutor, all charges were dismissed with costs assessed to the State.

  • Carrying Weapons, Public Intoxication, & Disorderly Conduct Carrying Weapons & Public Intoxication Charges D

    Linn County AGCR108044. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with Carrying Weapons, Public Intoxication, and Disorderly Conduct. After plea negotiations with the State, Mr. Keegan was successful in dismissing the Carrying Weapons and Public Intoxication charges.

  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Charges Dismissed

    Iowa County FECR010358. Attorney Tindal was able to show the Court that his client was detained in violation of his Constitutional rights and that the K9 utilized in the search was unreliable. Following hearing all charges were dismissed.

  • Embezzlement No Criminal Charges Filed

    Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa. An employee of a Cedar Rapids business accused of embezzling six million dollars was not charged criminally after the County Attorney agreed to abide by an agreement negotiated by Attorneys J. Dean Keegan and Jerald Kinnamon in which the accused would pay two million dollars to the company.

  • Second Degree Sexual Abuse and Other Charges Acquittal at Trial

    Johnson County FECR089277. The Defendant was charged with Second Degree Sexual Abuse and other charges. Following a one-week trial by Mr. Tindal, the Defendant was acquitted of all charges.

  • Trafficking Stolen Weapons and Misdemeanor Theft Charge Dismissed

    Scott County FECR384046. The Defendant was charged with Trafficking Stolen Weapons and Misdemeanor Theft. The Court dismissed the felony following a Motion litigated by Mr. Tindal. The Defendant subsequently pled to the remaining misdemeanor.

  • Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana and Methamphetamine Charges Dismissed

    Washington Count FECR5351. Attorney Tindal and Attorney Clemens Erdahl successfully argued that evidence of drug manufacture was obtained in violation of the Constitution. All charges were dismissed.

  • Operating While Intoxicated 3rd Offense Charge Dismissed

    Linn County OWCR104143. Attorney Dean Keegan's client was charged with a felony 3rd offense OWI. Mr. Keegan argued the officer did not have reasonable grounds to pull over his client. The charges were dropped from a felony to a ticket fine of $15.00 for being in a park past closing time.

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