Drug Conviction Policy

Federally-mandated notice to ALL enrolled students regarding the ramifications of drug convictions on Federal Student Aid eligibility:


A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for Federal Student Aid funds. Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal financial aid. Also, a conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record does not count, nor does one received when the student was under the age of 18, unless the student was tried as an adult. Federal financial aid programs include:  Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Perkins Loans, Subsidized and Unsubsidized Ford Direct Loans, Parent PLUS loans, Graduate PLUS loans, and/or Federal Work-Study.

The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for FSA funds, 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

3rd offense

Indefinite period


If a student is convicted of both possessing and selling illegal drugs, and the periods of ineligibility are different, the student will be ineligible for the longer period.

A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when the student successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program or, passes two unannounced drug tests given by such a program. Further drug convictions will make the student ineligible again.

Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain eligibility after successfully completing rehabilitation program (as described below), passing two unannounced drug tests from such a program, or if a conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or three convictions for possession remain on the record. In such cases, the nature and dates of the remaining convictions will determine when the student regains eligibility. If a student has lost their eligibility to participate in Federal Financial Aid programs due to drug convictions, it is the student’s responsibility to certify to the Student Financial Assistance Office that you have successfully completed the rehabilitation program.

If a student regains eligibility during the award year, they may receive Pell Grant for the current payment period and Ford Direct loans for the period of enrollment. 

Standards for a qualified drug rehabilitation program

A qualified drug rehabilitation program must include 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
  • Be administered or recognized by a federally or state-licensed hospital, health clinic or medical doctor