Students Convicted of Sale or Possession of Illegal Drugs
A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for Federal Student Aid funds. Convictions only count against a student for aid eligibility purposes if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Federal Student Aid—they do not count if the offense was not during such a period, unless the student was denied federal benefits for drug trafficking by a federal or state judge. Also, a conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record does not count, nor does one received when she was a juvenile, unless she was tried as an adult.
The list below illustrates the period of ineligibility for Federal Student Aid funds, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses:
Possession of illegal drugs:
1st offense 1 year from date of conviction
2nd offense 2 years from date of conviction
3+ offenses Indefinite period
Sale of illegal drugs:
1st offense 2 years from date of conviction
2nd offense Indefinite period
A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when he successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program or passes two unannounced drug tests given by such a program. Further drug convictions will make the student ineligible again.
Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain it after successfully completing a rehabilitation program, passing two unannounced drug tests from such a program, or if a conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or three convictions for possession remain on the record.