Do you have to disclose your drug conviction on your FAFSA?
If you plan to attend college in 2023, you may be wondering how to pay for sky-high tuition and fees. Luckily, if you meet certain income requirements, you may qualify for government-backed financial aid. Indeed, according to the U.S. Department of Education, the federal government provides more than $112 billion in loans, grants and work-study funds to college-bound students every single year.
Until a couple of years ago, having a drug conviction on your record often meant being ineligible for academic financial assistance from the federal government. Now, though, drug convictions do not have any effect on your eligibility. Still, you must disclose your drug conviction when you complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Answer questions truthfully
Because the FAFSA is an official form you sign under penalty of perjury, it is imperative for you to answer all of its questions truthfully and completely. After all, providing untrue or misleading information could expose you to criminal prosecution. It also could disqualify you from receiving government-guaranteed financial aid.
Complete the supplemental questionnaire
When you disclose your drug conviction, the FAFSA should automatically ask you to complete a supplemental questionnaire. This questionnaire requests additional information about your drug conviction, including when it happened and what it involved. Like with the rest of the form, you should provide honest and complete information on the questionnaire.
Because you are not at risk of losing government-backed financial aid, it makes a great deal of sense to disclose your drug conviction. Ultimately, even though you would probably like to forget your conviction forever, mentioning it on your FAFSA ensures you can compete for the federal dollars you need to achieve your academic goals.