A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify you for federal financial aid.
When you complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you must indicate whether you have such a conviction. If the answer is “Yes," you may be subject to a period of ineligibility as required by law.
The Office of Student Financial Services will be notified on the processed FAFSA that you have reported a conviction. You cannot be awarded unless you are able to confirm that you have regained eligibility. You may call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) to find out how, or if, this law applies to you.
Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which you were receiving Title IV federal aid (such as grants, loans, or work-study)â€”they do not count if the offense was not during such a period. Also, a conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from your record does not count, nor does one received when you were a juvenile, unless you were tried as an adult.
The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for FSA funds, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether you had previous offenses. (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)
If you were convicted of both possessing and selling illegal drugs, and the periods of ineligibility are different, you will be ineligible for the longer period. You can regain eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when you successfully complete a qualified drug rehabilitation program. Further drug convictions will make you ineligible again. Any student denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain it only after:
If you regain eligibility during a term, you may award federal aid for that term.