For many, the college years are some of the more exciting parts of life. After all, not only are you able to pursue the field that most interests you, but you can also enjoy new experiences. If you experiment with controlled substances, though, you may find yourself facing life-altering drug charges.
Upon conviction for a drug-related offense, you may expect to serve a jail sentence, pay a fine or both. Until recently, you were also likely to lose your government-backed financial aid. Luckily, after a change in policy earlier this year, that is no longer a risk.
An end to suspensions
Students who want to compete for billions of dollars in loans, grants and work-study funds must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application asks applicants if they have had a drug conviction during their award periods.
Even though a drug conviction no longer triggers a suspension of your government-subsidized financial aid, you still must answer questions about drug convictions. If you have a drug conviction on your record, you also must disclose additional information when preparing a mandatory supplemental worksheet.
The other side of the coin
While the end of financial aid suspensions for students with drug convictions is certainly good news, you may encounter other academic consequences following a drug-associated conviction. For example, your college or university may suspend, expel or otherwise discipline you. You may also be at risk of forfeiting any academic stipend or private scholarship you have.
Wisconsin often allows first-time drug offenders to take advantage of special programs. Ultimately, exploring all your legal options may help you minimize the negative academic ramifications of a drug conviction.