Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

A student will be ineligible to receive title IV, HEA program funds if the student has been convicted (conviction is on the student's record) of an offense under any Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs (a controlled substance as defined by section 102(6) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801(6), and does not include alcohol or tobacco) while the student was enrolled and receiving title IV, HEA program funds.

A student may regain eligibility upon completion of an approved drug rehabilitation program as of the date the student successfully completes the program.

If convicted of an offense involving:

1.The possession of a controlled substance:

  • First Offense - 1 Year of ineligibility
  • Second Offense - 2 years of ineligibility
  • Third Offense - Indefinite ineligibility

2.The sale of a controlled substance:

  • First Offense - 2 years of ineligibility
  • Second Offense - Indefinite ineligibility

Rehabilitation - A student may regain title IV eligibility sooner if:

  • The student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program
  • The rehab program includes two unannounced drug tests
  • The conviction is reversed, set aside, or otherwise rendered nugatory

FAFSA Facts - Office of National Drug Control Policy