Drug convictions can impact your eligibility for financial aid. Students convicted of drug offenses that were committed while receiving Federal Financial Aid may be ineligible for federal financial aid for one or more years from the date of conviction. Federal Aid includes:
- Federal Student Loans
- Federal PLUS Loans
- Federal Grants
- Federal Work Study
Penalties for Drug Convictions in Eligibility
Possession of Illegal Drugs:
- First Offense: One year from the date of conviction
- Second Offense: Two years from the date of conviction
- Third and Subsequent Offenses: Indefinite ineligibility from the date of conviction
Sale of Illegal Drugs:
- First Offense: Two years from the date of conviction
- Second and Subsequent Offenses: Indefinite ineligibility from the date of conviction
Regain Eligibility After a Drug Conviction
You can regain eligibility for the federal programs no matter how many or what type of drug convictions you have if you successfully complete an acceptable drug rehabilitation program that meets the standards set by Congress and the Department of Education. You will regain eligibility on the date that you complete the program.
An acceptable drug rehabilitation program requires passing TWO unannounced drug tests AND the program must be either:
- Qualified to receive funds from a federal, state, or local government agency or program, or from a state or federally licensed insurance company, or
- Administered or recognized by a federal, state, or local government agency or court, or by a state or federally licensed hospital, health clinic, or medical doctor.
Question 23 on the FAFSA form asks if the student has ever been convicted of a drug related offense. Answering this question falsely, if discovered, could result in fines of up to $20,000, imprisonment, or both.
Convictions During Enrollment
According to the United States Department of Education, if a student is convicted of a drug offense after receiving Federal Aid, he or she must notify the Financial Aid Office immediately, and that student will be ineligible for further aid and required to pay back all aid received after the conviction.
- Financial Aid