FAFSA School Code: 001146

Consequences of Conviction for Possession or Sale of Drugs

A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student from receiving financial aid.  Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV aid (federal grants, loans, and/or work-study).  They do not count if the offense was not during such a period. 

A conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record does not affect Title IV aid eligibility.  Also, a juvenile conviction does not affect Title IV aid eligibility, unless the student was tried as an adult.

The information below illustrates the period of ineligibility for Title IV aid, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the 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
3+ offense Indefinite period Indefinite period

Regaining Title IV eligibility after a conviction for possession or sale of drugs

Students who are convicted of possession or sale of drugs may regain eligibility for Title IV funds in a number of ways.

  • A student automatically regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends.  Use the Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet for FAFSA Question 23 to determine when your period of ineligibility will end.
  • A student may also regain eligibility for Title IV funds when they successfully complete a qualified drug rehabilitation program.  An acceptable drug rehabilitation program must include at least two unannounced drug tests, and:
    • Be qualified to receive funds from a federal, state or local government or from a federally or state-licensed insurance company; or
    • Be administered or recognized by a federal, state or local government agency or court, or a federally or state-licensed hospital, health clinic or medical doctor.
  • Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain eligibility for Title IV funds only after successfully completing a rehabilitation program. It is the student's responsibility to certify they have successfully completed an acceptable rehabilitation program.