Drug Offenses

Some students who were convicted of a federal or state offense for selling or possessing illegal drugs (offenses that occurred while they were receiving federal student aid) may not be eligible to receive federal student aid for a specific period of time.  

Students with such convictions should still complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) because they MAY qualify for federal, state, and/or institutional aid for at least part of the academic year.  Eligibility will depend on your answers to FAFSA question 23.  If you leave question 23 blank, you cannot be considered for financial aid until you submit a FAFSA correction (www.fafsa.gov).

  • If you initially complete the online FAFSA and answer “Yes” to question 23, you will be asked a series of on-screen questions to determine whether or not your drug offense conviction/s will impact your aid eligibility.
  • If you initially complete a paper FAFSA and answer “Yes” to question 23, you will receive a worksheet in the mail.

NOTE:  do not include convictions that have been reversed, set aside, or removed from your record.  Also, do not include convictions received while you were a juvenile, unless you were tried as an adult.

In addition to completing question 23, you will be subject to a data base match against a hold file of persons denied (by federal/state judges) certain federal benefits due to convictions for drug trafficking or possession.

Offense/s 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 last conviction Indefinite period
3rd Offense Indefinite period Indefinite period
* includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs

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

Students regain federal student aid eligibility the day after the ineligibility period ends (use the Worksheet to calculate your date) or after successfully completing a qualified drug rehabilitation program or passing two unannounced drug tests given by such a program.  Likewise, if a conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed from your record so that fewer convictions remain on your record, the nature and dates of the remaining convictions will determine when the ineligibility period ends.

When students certify (on the Worksheet) completion of a drug rehabilitation program, the Financial Aid Office has the right and authority to require documentation if they believe it is warranted.

If you wish to complete the Drug Offense Worksheet at this time, please download it from our Forms page. Take or mail your completed worksheet to your local Financial Aid Office.