Pursuing higher education is one of the more effective ways to achieve financial freedom. Indeed, according to the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, on average, American workers with bachelor’s degrees make approximately 84% more during their careers than those with only high school diplomas.
Obtaining a college education typically does not come cheaply, though. Luckily, many students can compete for federal financial aid and private scholarships to help them pay for tuition, books and other academic expenses.
The good news
Until almost two years ago, having a drug conviction on your record could have disastrous consequences. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Education used to suspend loans, grants and work-study dollars for college students with drug convictions.
Now, though, your drug conviction should have no effect on your eligibility to apply for or receive government-backed financial aid.
The bad news
Private scholarship dollars may be a different store, unfortunately. In fact, private organizations can use your drug conviction to disqualify you from applying for their scholarships. The same may be true for financial assistance from your college or university.
Likewise, with a drug conviction on your record, you may not be able to live in college housing. Finding an off-campus residence may be difficult too, as landlords may use your criminal record against you.
When it comes to paying for college, there might be a big difference between drug charges and a drug conviction. Ultimately, it may make a great deal of sense to fight your charges aggressively rather than just accept a plea deal and hope for the best.