Federal Student Aid and Consequences of a Drug Conviction

Last Updated: Monday, April 3, 2017


Is it true that a drug conviction may affect a person’s eligibility for federal student aid?

Answer: Yes, eligibility might be suspended if the offense occurred while the person was receiving federal student aid (grants, loans or work-study).

When you complete the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA) you will be asked:

Have you had a drug conviction for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid?
If the answer is "yes", the student needs to fill out a worksheet to determine whether the conviction affects eligibility for federal student aid.

How can a student regain eligibility for federal student aid when eligibility for aid has been suspended due to a drug conviction?

  • Eligibility can be regained early by successfully completing an approved drug rehabilitation program that 
  • includes passing two unannounced drug tests, or
  • Passing two unannounced drug tests administered by an approved drug rehabilitation program, or
  • Having the conviction reversed, set aside, or otherwise rendered invalid.

What happens if a student is convicted of a drug-related offense after he or she submits the federal student aid application?

  • The student may lose eligibility for student aid and be liable for returning any financial aid received during a period of ineligibility.

For more information: www.studentaid.ed.gov/sa/eligibility/criminal-convictions 



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