If you are the parent of a Virginia college student and your son or daughter is facing a drug-related criminal charge, you may have concerns about how a conviction might impact his or her life. In addition to fines, possible jail time and other potential penalties, your college student may also face “collateral consequences” relating to the crime, with collateral consequences referring to any repercussions that do not stem directly from the court system.

According to U.S. News & World Report, one of those collateral consequences your child may face after a drug conviction is a loss of student loan eligibility. Almost any type of drug conviction can cause your child to lose financial aid, including possession charges, sales charges and conspiring to sell charges. Now, whether your child will actually lose his or her ability to receive student loans depends on when, exactly, he or she committed the crime.

If authorities arrested your child on a drug charge during the school year and then convicted him or her thereafter, you can anticipate that he or she will lose student loan eligibility for a given period. If, however, authorities arrested your child when he or she was not enrolled in school, such as over the summer, a subsequent conviction should not impact financial aid, because your child was not receiving aid at the time of the crime. As for how long your student might lose access to financial aid because of a drug-related crime, this varies based on the type of crime committed.

This information about the connection between drug convictions and financial aid is informative in nature, but it is not a replacement for legal advice.