Federal tuition aid makes it possible for many people to get a college education today when without it, they could not afford the cost of higher education.
Unfortunately, many criminal defense lawyers have had to advice clients that actually getting that aid may not be so easy if you have a criminal record because your eligibility for financial aid with a criminal record can definitely be affected.
A criminal defense attorney can help figure out how to improve your chances of being considered for federal tuition aid.
How Does A Criminal Record Affect Financial Aid Eligibility?
If you have a criminal record, criminal defense lawyers have seen that you may have a hard time obtaining any kind of federal tuition assistance for college, regardless of your grades or other positive factors.
Colleges have become exceedingly critical of who they accept today, with most now inquiring about criminal records on their applications and doing background checks when deemed necessary.
Sadly, this can put going to college out of reach for some people who desperately need that financial aid yet have some type of criminal record in their background.
Financial Aid and Criminal Charges
Fortunately, not all criminal charges will automatically disqualify you from receiving federal tuition assistance as according to defense lawyers you may still receive consideration for aid if previously charged with or convicted of a lesser crime.
Your acceptance process may still be a little more in-depth than it is for another student who has no record; however, receiving financial aid is not automatically out of the question unless convicted of something serious.
Criminal records that do make you ineligible to apply for federal tuition aid are misdemeanor or felony crimes including drug charges and sexual offenses.
A first-time drug conviction results in a 1-year suspension on applying for federal aid, a second conviction equals a 2-year suspension from applying, and a third conviction or any sexual offense leaves you permanently banned from applying for federal tuition aid.
Criminal defense attorneys do emphasize that with some drug charges, you may be able to regain the eligibility to apply for tuition aid by completing an approved drug treatment program and passing two random drug tests.
Can Your Record Be Expunged?
The expungement of your criminal record seals your past charges and convictions so they are not visible to anyone doing a background check.
Not all records qualify for expungement; however, it’s worth looking into with the help of a criminal defense lawyer as doing so can help you regain the eligibility to apply for and obtain federal tuition assistance.
You can usually petition to have charges obtained as a juvenile expunged right away, while those obtained as an adult usually require a waiting period of a few years before you can petition for expungement.
Talk With A Criminal Defense Lawyer
The reality for many people is that mistakes made at younger ages can keep them from obtaining the critical funding necessary to attend college.
If you have a criminal record and are concerned about eligibility for obtaining federal tuition assistance, discuss your case with a criminal defense lawyer who can help you understand available options and determine how to hopefully getting the assistance you need!
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