You may set ground rules for your child when he or she goes away to school in Georgia, but even the most well-intentioned college-age young adults are prone to making errors in judgment. If your child is a recipient of federal financial aid, though, a conviction for a drug offense could have far-reaching implications.

Per Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, receiving a drug conviction has the potential to make your college student unable to use financial aid.

Determining continued eligibility

Your son or daughter must complete the Federal Application for Free Student Aid for every year he or she wishes to apply for it. During this time, he or she has to answer questions about whether there were any drug-related convictions received while using financial aid. If so, your child may become ineligible for aid for at least a year and, possibly, indefinitely. Any type of drug offense may make your child ineligible for financial aid, including convictions for drug possession or drug sales, among others.

Regaining eligibility

Should your college student become ineligible for aid after a drug offense, he or she may be able to get it back early by doing one of two things. If an approved drug rehabilitation provider reports that your child completed a program there or passed two unannounced drug tests, this may pave the way for your son or daughter to regain financial aid eligibility early.

Some educators and elected officials believe that taking away financial aid is an ineffective means of preventing criminal behavior and are working to change these rules. However, they remain in place for the time being.