Every school is different when it comes to criminal charges that students face. In general, Deans’ offices could put you on some type of warning or expel you from school, depending on the severity of the charge. You should probably check with the relevant college guidelines to see what might happen if you were convicted of a crime.

However, if you were receiving federal student aid, there could be broader concerns. Before you accept any deals or talk to anyone from the Virginia police force versus or attorney’s offices, there are some things you may want to know about how criminal charges might affect your eligibility for student aid. 

There are two types of criminal charges that are particularly notable when it comes to your FAFSA and Pell grants. These are drug charges and sexual offenses.

A conviction for a sexual offense could make you indefinitely ineligible for Pell grants. As mentioned on the Ed.gov information portal, this could also indirectly affect your chances for getting other student aid. Pell-eligible students are often given priority, which could reduce your chances of securing financial resources.

Drug offenses could also affect your federal aid eligibility, if they led to convictions. However, in some cases, you may be able to pass random drug tests or complete rehabilitation programs to regain the funds you need to complete your education.

One of the simplest ways to avoid these problems is to make sure that any unjust charges do not lead to convictions. However, just because this is a simple solution does not mean it is an easy one. Fighting a drug charge will probably require time and resources, as well as knowledge of Virginia statute, case law and court procedure. Please do not consider this as legal advice. It is only in meant as general information.