To go to college, most people in Colorado will need to apply for federal financial aid. This involves filling out the Free Application for Student Financial Aid. The FASFA is your key to getting grants and loans to help you pay for college. However, if you have a drug charge, you may find it is harder to get the help you need.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, if you have a drug conviction, the FASFA will have additional forms for you to fill out to determine if you are eligible for aid. You may be depending on your conviction. However, there are other situations that could ban you from getting help.

If you are incarcerated, you cannot get student loans or the federal Pell grant. If your conviction occurs while you are receiving financial aid, your aid is suspended and you may have to return the money you already got. The same is true if you just apply and then have a conviction. You could lose your eligibility.

All is not lost, though. You may be able to remove any suspension and regain your eligibility for federal aid. You can do this by taking an approved drug rehabilitation program or passing two random drug tests. You can check into those options if you find yourself ineligible due to a drug conviction. In addition, you may still qualify for state funding. These rules only apply to federal aid. States have their own rules.

In any case, you should file your FASFA to see if your conviction has an impact on your eligibility. This information is for education. It is not legal advice.