College is an exciting time. You have a lot of opportunities to meet new people and go to parties. You also have to make a lot of decisions on your own. Perhaps one of those decisions was experimenting with drugs, and now, you are facing a drug charge. You’re probably wondering how a conviction will impact your education and your future.

Impact on financial aid

If your drug offense happened while you were enrolled at IUP, your federal financial aid can be suspended with a conviction. The length of the suspension will depend on how serious your offense was. If you are convicted of a higher misdemeanor or felony charge, the suspension will be longer.

In some cases, you can reinstate your financial aid early by completing an approved drug rehabilitation program or passing two unannounced drug tests.

If the offense happened before you enrolled in college, it will not affect your financial aid eligibility.

Impact on educational opportunities

If you face a felony drug charge, you could receive jail time with a conviction, obviously impacting your ability to attend classes. Also, a felony conviction becomes part of your permanent record and can disqualify you from obtaining certain professional licenses, such as in the health care, legal, criminal justice or education fields.

Impact on future employment

A drug conviction on your record will show up on a background check. It’s very commonplace for potential employers to run a background check on job candidates. If you have a felony conviction, you are often required to report it on many standard job applications.

A conviction can hamper your ability to secure employment, depending on the following:

  • How serious your offense was
  • What type of job you are applying for
  • What steps you have taken since the conviction to avoid drug use

Despite the significant impact a drug charge could have on your life, it may be possible to have it  reduced or even dismissed if you take legal action. Do not assume your life will be ruined by one charge.