The teen years are a time of learning by experience, peer pressure and often rebellion. Sneaking alcohol from appearance stash or trying drugs with friends are common forms of teenage rebellion. Unfortunately for a small minority of teenagers, they will get arrested because of their decision to try a prohibited substance.
Teenagers who get arrested for drug-related offenses have a difficult road ahead of them. Such a conviction can impact everything from their ability to gain admission at a good college to their eligibility for student aid. Can teenagers ever bounce back after a drug offense impacts student aid eligibility?
Those who complete rehabilitation can potentially move on
Minor drug offenses used to be some of the most harshly penalized crimes for those hoping to go to college. While people accused of much more severe crimes and offenses with actual victims could eventually become eligible for student aid again, drug convictions resulted in the permanent loss of eligibility.
Thankfully, lawmakers at the federal level have changed these rules at least a little bit to make them more lenient for teenagers who learn from their mistakes. Completing a rehabilitation program that meets specific requirements can allow someone with a previous drug offense to qualify for student aid. Specifically, the person hoping to qualify for student aid will need to pass at least two unannounced drug tests.
Regaining eligibility can help your teen move on after making a mistake. However, for most individuals, the best-case scenario will involve avoiding a conviction by defending against charges instead of trying to undo the harm of a conviction after it occurs.