Federal Policy Regarding Federal Student Aid and Drug Law Convictions

Students convicted of possession or sale of drugs

A student convicted of a federal or state drug offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV (federal) financial aid is ineligible for federal student aid (FSA).*

The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for FSA funds, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether a student had previous offenses. (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)

  Possession of illegal drugs Sale of illegal drugs
1st offense 1 year from date of conviction 2 years from date of conviction
2nd offense 2 years from date of conviction Indefinite period
3rd offense and beyond Indefinite period Indefinite period

* Exceptions include any conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from a student’s record, a conviction received as a juvenile (unless the student was tried as an adult), and any conviction for an offense that did not occur when a student was receiving Title IV aid.

Reference: U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Handbook. (2014-15, Volume 1, Chapter 1, pp. 1-15 to 1-16)

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