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Can you still get private scholarships with a drug conviction?

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Even though your parents may have done a good job raising you, you eventually must spread your wings and experience life for yourself. If you are like many teens, you may have experimented with drugs when you went to college. Now that you are facing drug charges, you may wonder if your financial aid package is at risk.

Until recently, having a drug conviction on your record had catastrophic consequences for your college goals. That is, the U.S. Department of Education used to suspend loans, grants and work-study dollars for anyone who had a drug conviction during their award periods. Now, though, drug convictions have no effect on the college financial aid the federal government subsidizes. Private scholarships are a different matter, though.

Do you receive private scholarships?

According to, there are roughly 1.7 million private scholarships for which college-bound students in the U.S. can compete. Even though the DOE no longer suspends government-backed financial aid, its approach has no effect on these private scholarship organizations.

Merely using drugs may be enough to lose your private scholarships. To know whether a drug conviction is likely to endanger your private scholarship dollars, though, you must check with the organization that gave you the scholarship. This may require reading through the organization’s code of conduct for the scholarship.

Does your school give you a scholarship?

If you play for its sports team or participate in on-campus goods, your university may have given you a scholarship. Just like with private scholarships, your school may require you to comply with a code of conduct. Violating this code may cause you to lose your university scholarship.

While knowing you can keep your government-backed financial aid may be a relief, you probably cannot afford to lose your private and university scholarships. Ultimately, fighting your drug charges may be one way to keep them intact.