College students often use their newfound freedom to test their limits and explore less-than-savory activities, often with negative consequences. Getting arrested during college can significantly impact their educational and professional pursuits. However, with new laws in effect, students living with a felony in Maryland may have better options than ever to pursue and maintain higher education opportunities.
Students and felony crimes
Many college student crimes are related to drug or alcohol incidents. After an arrest, students have valid concerns about how their new criminal record may impact their education and financial aid.
Until recently, people who were convicted of drug crimes could not receive federal financial aid. They would often be limited to only accessing private student loans, which usually charge higher interest rates and require higher credit scores. Now, with updated federal laws, previous drug crime convictions can no longer prevent returning citizens from seeking higher education.
Financial aid for people currently incarcerated
A unique feature of the current financial aid options extends to those who are still serving time for their convictions. Those in prison can receive up to approximately $6,500 for the current academic school year. In many cases, these funds are available through grants, which may not need to be repaid.
Federal student loan eligibility
For those who have been convicted, federal student loans are now an option for them to pursue. These student loans are usually lower in interest, may not view credit score as a determining factor in loan eligibility, and may not require a co-signer. Thus, these options offer students with lower incomes and less financial alternatives a greater ability to pay for their education.
Being convicted of a crime no longer severely impacts someone’s ability to get a college degree. Being aware of the new laws and regulations can help chart a path to educational and professional success.