Few colleges might refuse a student because the person has a criminal conviction. However, there are several professions that make it impossible for you to gain employment with a criminal conviction or put a waiting period in place. If you wish to work in one of these fields, not only can employers not hire you, but you might lose eligibility for certain professional certifications. Common fields include law, insurance and psychology.

Some drug convictions can have a more immediate impact on your ability to make ends meet. U.S. News reports that drug convictions can disqualify students from receiving federal grants and financial aid.

The effect of “when”

The U.S. News reports that any state or federal level drug convictions might pose a problem.  However, when the arrest happens does play a significant role. Arrests might need to occur while enrolled in school and receiving financial aid to count.

Because of this, a student arrested on drug charges during summer break might not need to worry, even if the incident or later conviction takes place while enrolled. An arrest can take place at any time after police officers suspect a crime, so this presents a gamble for students.

The disqualification period

The good news is that losing eligibility might not last forever. The federal government follows something similar to a three-strikes rule. After each offense, ineligibility might last for one to two years, starting from the date of the conviction. The more serious the crime, the longer the ineligibility period. Students often regain eligibility more quickly by successfully completing a rehabilitation program.

If you are a student or have high hopes of working in closely regulated fields, drug convictions might pose a problem even after school. Consequently, the best position is to have no convictions at all.