Unfortunately, for years, the Department of Education helped prosecute the so-called “war on drugs” (incidentally just a war on everyday people) by denying to those convicted of a possessory offense the opportunity to further educate themselves. For some at least, this undoubtedly exacerbated crushing poverty and increased the need for escapism that many initially seek from illicit narcotics.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or, FAFSA, as it has come to be known has evolved over the years to limit this cyclical effect to current college students who have received student aid—the premise being that they have already filled out the FAFSA where the federal government put them on notice that it was seeking disqualifying information about drug convictions. Nevertheless, college students are still often surprised to know that a criminal conviction for Possession of a Controlled Substance (PCS) in the State of Iowa may still disqualify them from student aid. Though Question 23 won’t likely register with students who are beginning their busy college careers (to be fair, they likely don’t remember that Question 43(e) references any applicable “special combat pay,” either), it will register on them—hard—if they are arrested for even a misdemeanor possessory offense in the State of Iowa. And that means that it will also register on their parents who are trying to get them through school.
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The war on drugs still echoes through the halls of education.
Question 23 on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
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