The Effect of Drug Convictions on Student Financial Aid

Practicing criminal defense law in Ithaca, NY brings a specific student focus to many legal issues. Many Cornell University and Ithaca College students receive financial aid in various forms. Concerns over the affect that a conviction of any type could have on their current lifestyle, future plans, and career prospects are always at the forefront of any legal consultation.

Most students are unaware that any conviction for the sale or possession of illegal drugs leads to some harsh collateral consequences.

President Clinton originally signed the legislation that amended Higher Education Act (H.R. 6) which mandated that “A student who has been convicted of any offense under any Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance shall not be eligible to receive any federal grant, loan, or work study program.” This was amended in 2006 to block eligibility for Federal financial aid only when the offense occurred during the period of time when the student was receiving aid.

The controlling law is 20 U.S.C. section 1091 (r) (1) which suspends eligibility for any federal grant, federal loan, or federal work study financial assistance for students convicted of any offense under State or Federal law involving the possession or the sale of a controlled substance.

The suspension of eligibility for Federal financial aid begins on the date of the conviction and ends as follows:

- for Possession of a Controlled Substance 1st offense: 1 year
– for Possession of a Controlled Substance 2nd offense: 2 years
– for Possession of a Controlled Substance 3rd offense: Indefinite
– for Sale of a C.S. !st Offense or 2nd Offense: 2 years
– for Sale of a C.S. 3rd Offense: Indefinite

The use of marijuana in Ithaca is ubiquitous. Pot is not considered or recognized by many people as a controlled substance or illegal drug. There are many “head” shops in the downtown Ithaca Commons which sell pipes, bongs, and other smoking paraphernalia.

Of important NOTE to college students is the fact that a conviction for the Unlawful Possession of Marijuana, (UPM) PL 221.05 will result in a period of ineligibility for any Federal financial aid.

UPM is for possession of less than 25 grams (about 7/8 of an ounce) of marijuana. In contrast, the Criminal Possession of Marijuana (Penal law 221.10), a B misdemeanor, is where the amount is over 25 grams but less than 2 ounces OR where possession is in a public place where the marijuana is burning or open to public view.

How is it possible that your Federal financial aid will be affected by the possession of one unlit joint?

UPM is considered just a violation in New York State, and is not a classified misdemeanor (a crime). Even so, Section 1091 was specifically written to include any offense language (thanks to former President Clinton) which does not necessarily imply a crime, and the Unlawful Possession of Marijuana, PL 221.05 is considered such an offense, and Marijuana is a listed controlled substance under 21 U.S.C. section 802 (6).

So what remedies are available to convicted students?

They can complete a drug rehabilitation program to regain eligibility. This program must comply with criteria set out by the Secretary of Education by (1) being qualified to receive funds from Federal, state, or local government, or from a Federally or state licensed insurance company OR (2) be administered or recognized by a Federal, state, or local government agency or Court, or a Federally or state licensed hospital, health clinic, medical doctor AND
(3) must include two unannounced drug tests.

Of course, the best solution is not to have a UPM conviction in the first place by negotiating a dismissal of the charges or an ACD (adjournment in contemplation of dismissal). A Unlawful Possession of Marijuana (UPM offense), and the Criminal Possession of Marijuana (Class B misdemeanor) charges can usually be resolved with a non criminal deposition which will not affect your Federal financial aid.

Student Financial Aid For College – How to Go to School For Free

Sometimes it is a wonder why more people do not find their way back to school. Many people will drop out of college due to a lack of financial ability to pay for the classes that they need. What is sad is that most of them do not take the time to research all of the money that is freely available to people so that they can go to and finish school. Here are a few tips on how you can go to college without having to pay for it.

Tip number one

Going to college is more of a hassle in regard to paperwork than it is immensely challenging activity. If you are honestly going to school for a degree that you enjoy, there is no mental hardship involved. Once you have determined which are major is, you need to go to your local financial aid counselor and ask them what type of aid is available for you.

The first single mention is that there are grants for almost all people that go to college. The first grant that will always be recommended is the Pell. It is available to millions of students each and every year. It provides thousands of dollars that can provide funding for classes, books, and tuition.

Tip number two

The next place to pursue student grants for college is on the Internet. By typing in your particular major and were Grant afterwards, you will be shown hundreds of possible sources of available money that is freely given to people that pursued certain majors.

The difficulty is that applying for each source of money takes a bit of time because there is an application for each one. That is why the next tip is very valuable to those that are seeking to garner as much financial support as possible that have limited time on their hands

Tip number three

You want to seek out the help of his service that will help you fill out the forms so that you can apply for as many student grants for college as possible. This is done through the efforts of the corporation or company that is dedicated to helping their clients get this free money for college.

By paying these people a small fee, you will not only have access to all of the grants available to you for your particular major, but you also see all of the possibilities for receiving college money that are not directly related to your major to help you gain thousands of extra dollars each and every year.

Getting Awareness on Federal Application for Student Aid

College and University education these days is proving very expensive but quality. Many people have various dreams on achieving the best out of these institutions to shape their future and that of generations to come. At some point this education is not affordable, but the good news is there is a way possible to finance this education.

There are many alternatives towards funding this education, but looking at the amount required, not many people would go back to their pockets and offer you a Check containing such huge amount unless there is a way to pay them back. Am trying to say that there are financial institutions specifically offering loans for you.

The federal financial aid for example is common and reliable way of getting financial help. All you need to do is to have the necessary information, may be from a qualified person or online, before you decide on applying for the Federal Application for Student Aid . This way you will get to know how much you, as a student, will afford to pay for your education while you get help from federal financial institutions.

Once you land on financial help decision, you will be amazed by the number of student financial loan institutions waiting to help you out. There are forms you need to fill to begin the Federal Application for Student Aid process. An example is the FAFSA Financial Aid form that is very common. There are others like the federal Stafford loans that are also available for you online. All this come along with all the necessary information leaving you to decide on the one that best suits you.

The Federal Application for Student Aid forms for these financial offering institutions are available online and in printed versions too. You can get them from your college or university, from your local library and even from high school not to leave out that there is electronic means that is fast, free, and safe.

Take note that you pay no penny for filling up these forms so do not desolate while there is a free means of doing this. Its important to know that you may not necessarily qualify for financial aid that year after Federal Application for Student Aid but do not desolate because probably you will have a chance the following year. Apply for Federal aid anyway, you have nothing to loose but do it early to be sure of continued education by going for an alternative if this fails. Federal Student Financial Aid is a program that is helping out so many people around the world, why not utilize it?

Suitable Personal Finance Software For College Students

Management of personal finance is an essential task that every student needs to cope with college life. There is a need for every college student to have suitable ways of keeping his or her expenses under control. This enables the students to set their living standard that matches their financial ability. To ensure that students achieve this vital goal, they are encouraged to acquire personal finance software. This article aims at providing valuable information on the basic features of these software products.

Personal finance software is an essential tool that assists the user to effectively manage income and expenses. It is common that most students may not have the stable source of income. Some of them entirely depend on the federal funds and assistance from parents and guardians. However, most of them have adopted some income generating activities that suit their lifestyle. These include online jobs that are designed for them among others. Finance software enables them to manage and control their expenses against the ever scarce finances. As a result, college life is made more bearable in the midst of unfriendly economic conditions.

There are several software programs that are ideal for students’ financial management. They are developed and designed with their lifestyle in mind. The choice of the software depends with the taste of an individual student. These products can also be ideal for other commercial entrepreneurs though students can learn a lot from them. Each has different features but they all aim at assisting the user in effective financial management. This is a source of relief to most of the students who cannot manage their personal finances for themselves.

Most of the personal finance software applications have distinctive features that enable the students to use utilize them easily. They are also supplied with short tutorials that give guidelines to students on how to apply the software in the best way possible. This helps the college students to effectively economize the available finances. This is done by developing suitable personal budget that can be met by the available finances without straining. By doing this, students are able to adopt a realistic lifestyle and achieve both realistic academic and financial goals.

There are several merits that come along with the use of software in personal finances. These include easy balance of personal budget, efficient repayment of students’ loan, prompt payment of college fees and managing personal vacations among others. This can easily be achieved when the suitable software is acquired. It should have the user-friendly interface which has step by step processes. This kind of software is suitable for beginners and advanced users. It should also be cost effective to be accessible to all students.

The introduction of personal finance software for college students has achieved tremendous results. College life to most of the students has become more enjoyable. Financial planning and expenditure control has been made easier. This is a great milestone for students especially during harsh economic times.

Government Gives $67 Billion For Federal Student Grants

Federal student grants are provided to students to finish their higher education easily without having to worry about their future. There are many federal grants available for students that can be availed and continue with the higher studies. But make sure to determine which grant is best suited before selecting any one that comes on the way. Federal grant along with a private loan will help to meet all the expenses.

Federal grants may be challenging. If we get hold of too many federal grants with different payment amounts and repayment periods then managing the cash flow would become a difficult job. Also make sure to go through the guidelines carefully when it comes to filling up the application form so that we don’t miss the grant.

The U.S. Department of Education gives more than $67 billion in loans, grants and campus-based aid every year to help millions of students and their families pay for post-secondary education. This feature presents an overall idea of the types of federal student financial aid available, eligibility requirements and the application process.

The government’s Stafford Loan program has two offers, namely the subsidized and unsubsidized student loans. Subsidized loans needs proof for financial need. The whole interest on subsidized loans are paid by the government if the student has enrolled for at least half time. But unsubsidized loans are available without any financial need. The student must pay all interest on unsubsidized loans.

Unlike loans, federal Pell Grants do not have to be paid back. The eligibility depends on financial need. Maximum amounts available differ yearly as determined by Congress. Along with financial need, the amount of a Pell grant also depends on costs to attend school, the student’s status as a full- or part-time student and the student’s plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

Pell grant funds are paid directly to the student by the school at least once in each semester, trimester or quarter. Americans struggling to pay off hefty federal student loans may be able to greatly deduce their monthly payments to the new Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan from the U.S. Department of Education.

The new IBR program helps student loan borrowers by adjusting their monthly payments based on their income and family size. Persons having high student loan debt compared to their income are prone to be eligible for the program which may reduce or can even eliminate their monthly payments. To apply for participating in the IBR program, borrowers should contact their lender.

Campus based programs such as the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study (FWS) and Federal Perkins Loan programs are administered directly by the financial aid office at each participating school. Amounts students can get depends on individual financial need, amounts of other aid the student gets and the total availability of funds at the school.

What You Need To Know To Get Federal Student Loans

Federal student loans are amongst the most popular of the loans and grants you will be qualified for when applying for financial aid for your college or university. Federal student loans always have to be paid back (unless you receive a grant, which does not have to be paid back), and will most likely be the bulk of your financial aid.

What Are Federal Student Loans?

Federal student loans come from the Secretary of Education – a part of the Federal government. This is the biggest source of financial aid in the form of Federal student grants and loans than any other place that offers financial aid. According to the United States Department of Education, the programs they offer provide more than $80 billion a year in grants, loans, and work-study assistance.

How Can You Apply For One?

You can apply for federal student loans in many ways. You could search online to apply directly online through the government’s websites. You could go to your city hall or local library and ask them for the forms you need to fill out (although you will need to know what forms you need). You could also go to your school’s financial advisor and ask them for the forms (they usually have copies of all sorts of different student loan applications), and you could also ask your school’s financial advisor where you could go online to apply for federal student loans.

Do I Need A Cosigner Or Good Credit?

They will check your credit report to see how it is. Some may deny you because of poor credit or no credit. If you do have poor credit or no credit it would be best to have a reliable cosigner to help you. See your financial advisor for all of the details on credit checks for each of the different federal student loans.

What Information Do I Need To Provide?

According to the Department of Education, you will need to provide the following information -

1. Demonstrate financial need (except for certain loans)

2. Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, pass a test approved by the U.S. Department of Education, meet other standards your state establishes that the Department approves, or complete a high school educationin a home school setting that is treated as such under state law

3. Be working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program

4. Be a U.S. citizen or permanent citizen with a valid card

5. Have a valid Social Security Number (unless you’re from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau)

6. Register with the Selective Service if required

7. Maintain satisfactory academic progress once in school

8. Certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant

9. Certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes

Since most of your student financial aid will come from federal programs you will need to make sure that you qualify for as many as you can to save yourself money in the long run.