On the FAFSA form, there is a question about drug convictions, but no questions about general or weapon convictions. Funny that.
I have an armed burglary felony conviction and had no trouble getting FAFSA. But had I been caught with an oz of pot, goddamn better not let me become educated!
Well, technically, (not stating I condone or endorse this), it just means the government isn't going to help you pay for that education. It doesn't keep you from applying. (Again, I'm not supporting that but it isn't precisely the same thing as being completely shut out of further education) Though, I'm sure many colleges would look at that as a black mark, whether or not you are going to apply for financial aid. Though, if you can slam dunk a basketball I bet they'd look the other way AND find a way for your education to be paid.
For the most part, rich kids aren't the ones getting drug convictions. So, sure, if you're wealthy enough you can pay for your own education. That doesn't really address the problem, which is that functionally speaking, drug convictions are preventing people from reasonable, practical, affordable access to education and betterment.