A criminal record can limit your options if you want to go back to school. As tough as it may seem, though, it is not impossible. But before you make the final decision, it is essential to learn what your limitations may be and how you can overcome them.
Two critical factors in returning to school are application acceptance and financial requirements. Though most colleges do perform background checks on applicants, not every college knows what to do with that information. As reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education, a recent survey found that less than half of schools who do perform the checks have strict policies on what to do next.
If you do choose to apply despite your convictions, honesty is the best policy. A school that accepts those with convictions may favorably consider your desire to change your circumstances and appreciate your willingness to admit that you have a record.
A major setback for most convicted criminals is ineligibility for federal student aid. According to the Federal Student Aid Office, you are not eligible for the Federal Pell Grant or federal loans while incarcerated in a state or federal facility. There are other financial aid possibilities, but due to funding limitations and other restrictions, the government is unlikely to grant you these options.
Drug charges may restrict you from receiving federal funding, particularly if the conviction occurred while previously receiving federal aid. However, you may be able to restore your eligibility by passing random drug screenings and completing an approved rehabilitation program.
This information is for educational purposes. It should not be interpreted as legal advice.