Student’s Name: Ryan S Markel
Financial Aid and Drug Convictions Majority of high school students in the United States look forward to having a college or university education upon graduation. The number of prospective college students has in the recent past been on the increase leading to increased tuition costs (Treback & Zeese, 1990). The high costs make it difficult for many families to finance higher education for their children. As a way of meeting such burden, students usually rely on financial aid which is offered in different forms. Financial aid can be provided by individual colleges to new students depending on whether they have demonstrated exceptional merit or need (Souder, 2000). Another way that financial aid can be provided is through the federal government. In order to receive financial aid from the Federal Government, students are required to meet certain conditions which involve a student’s financial circumstance (Treback & Zeese, 1990). Detailed information regarding family’s financial assets is provided by the students to enable the government to calculate the amount of aid given to meet the financial need (Souder, 2000). Financial aid sometimes depends on non-financial considerations which are for the purpose of discouraging or promoting certain types of behavior (Treback & Zeese, 1990).
Conditions such as keeping a clean record attached to financial aid from the federal government ensure that students are held accountable for their behavior (Souder, 2000). Those who are unwilling to adhere to the rules and conditions are denied special privileges. The United States Department of Education states that if a student is found guilty of a drug offense upon receiving financial aid from the Federal Government, they must report to the Financial Aid Office immediately (Treback & Zeese, 1990). The student will then become ineligible for further federal aid where s/he will be required to refund back any and all aid received upon conviction (Souder, 2000). Tying aid to avoid drug convictions not only counteracts the cultural tendency to regard youthful drug use lightly but also helps in rescuing students from dangers associated with drug use (Treback & Zeese, 1990). There is however those individuals who would term the conditions by the federal government in relations to students’ financial aid as unjust. They argue that attaching financial aid to students’ drug records is a policy that is misguided and unfair (Souder, 2000). Trying to teach students with drug convictions a lesson by cutting off their financial aid has been observed to have a huge impact on less prosperous students who tend to depend more on the aid (Treback & Zeese, 1990). Therefore having a policy that is considered harsher on students with less financial capabilities is unacceptably unfair. Students having previous drug addiction records should not be disallowed financial aid or excluded from the program. In some cases, this denial would be considered a bit racist since majority of students who are most likely to have previous drug addiction records are Blacks, Hispanics and those from minority groups (Souder, 2000). Attaching federal