Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Violations

Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug 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 illegal drugs during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal financial aid, shall not be eligible to receive any federal student aid assistance during the period beginning on the date of such conviction and ending after the interval specified in the following table:

Possession of illegal drugs

Ineligibility Period

First Offense 1 Year from date of conviction
Second Offense 2 Years from date of conviction
Third+ Offense 3 Years

Sale of Illegal Drugs

Ineligibility Period

First Offense 2 Years from date of conviction
Second Offense Indefinite

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

1. the student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program that includes at least two unannounced drug tests and must satisfy at least one of the following requirements:

  • Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a federal, state, or local government program;
  • Be qualified to receive payment directly or indirectly from a federally- or state-licensed insurance company;
  • Be administered or recognized by a federal, state, or local government agency or court; or,
  • Be administered or recognized by a federally- or state-licensed hospital, health clinic, or medical doctor.

2. the student successfully passes two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program that complies with the criteria prescribed in the federal regulations; or,

3. the conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record.

It is a student’s responsibility to certify to us that he/she has successfully completed the rehabilitation program.