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Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

Federal law provides that a student who has been convicted of an offense under any Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance for conduct that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal financial aid (any grant, loan or work assistance) shall not be eligible to receive any federal grant, loan or work assistance from the date of that conviction for the period of time specified below.

If convicted of an offense involving:

Possession of a Controlled Substance Possession of a Controlled Substance
First Offense 1 year
Second Offense Second Offense
Third Offense Third Offense
Sale of a Controlled Substance Ineligibility Period
First Offense 2 years
Second Offense Indefinite

A student whose eligibility has been suspended based on a conviction for possession or sale of a controlled substance may resume eligibility before the end of the ineligibility period if:

  • The student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program that:
    • Complies with the criteria prescribed in the federal regulations; and
    • Includes two unannounced drug tests;
  • The students successfully passes two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program that complies with such criteria prescribe in regulations); or
  • The conviction is reversed, set aside, or otherwise rendered nugatory

If you have questions about the effect of a drug conviction on your Federal Student Aid or your eligibility, please call 1-800-4FEDAID.

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