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Drug Convictions & Financial Aid Eligibility

Under the Higher Education Act, students become ineligible for federal student aid upon conviction during any period of enrollment of any offense involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs. Federal aid includes Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans, Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal TEACH Grants, Federal CACG Grants,

Federal Work Study, and Perkins Loans. Question 31 on the FAFSA form asks if the student has ever been convicted of a drug related offense. Failure to answer the question will automatically disqualify the student from receiving Federal aid. Answering this question falsely, if discovered, could result in fines up to $20,000, imprisonment, or both.

 

Penalties for Drug Convictions

Possession of Illegal Drugs:

• First Offense: 1 year from the date of conviction

• Second Offense: 2 years from the date of conviction

• Third and Subsequent Offenses: Indefinite ineligibility from the date of conviction

Sale of Illegal Drugs:

• First Offense: 2 years from the date of conviction

• Second and Subsequent Offenses: Indefinite ineligibility from the date of conviction.

 

How to Regain Eligibility

If a student successfully completes a drug rehabilitation program, he or she can regain

eligibility for federal student aid funds as of the day the student successfully completes the

program.

To be sufficient to reinstate financial aid eligibility, the program must:

  • Include at least 2 unannounced drug tests

     AND

  • Be recognized as a Federal, State, or local government agency program.

 

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 Financial Aid Services immediately

and that student will be ineligible for further aid and required to pay back all aid received after

the conviction.


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