Some students who have drug-related convictions under any federal or state law may be ineligible for federal student aid. If you are convicted of a drug-related offense you may face these restrictions: For possession of illegal drugs,
you are ineligible from the date of conviction (not arrest) for:
- One year for a first offense
- Two years for a second offense
- Indefinitely for a third offense
For sale of illegal drugs, you are ineligible from the date of conviction (not arrest) for:
- Two years for a first offense
- Indefinitely for a second offense
Do all drug convictions count?
Not necessarily. Do not count any conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from your record. Also, do not count any conviction that occurred before you turned 18, unless you were prosecuted as an adult. Alcohol and tobacco are not illegal drugs.
If I have drug convictions, should I still apply for student aid?
Yes, you should complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may be eligible, depending on the date and number of convictions. Even if you are ineligible for federal student aid, you may still be eligible for scholarships or aid from other programs. If you successfully complete an acceptable drug rehabilitation program that meets the standards set by Congress and the Department of Education, you will regain eligibility for federal aid on the date you complete the program.
How do I answer the Drug Conviction Question on the FAFSA?
If you answered "YES" to Question 23, you must fill out the Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet. You can print this worksheet, "Worksheet for Question 23 (Drug Conviction)," from our forms page or you can request the worksheet from the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). This worksheet will help you determine your eligibility date and give instructions on how to correctly answer Question 23.
What is an acceptable drug rehabilitation program?
An acceptable drug rehabilitation program must have TWO unannounced drug tests AND it must either:
- Be qualified to receive funds from a federal, state or local government agency or program, or from a state or federally licensed insurance company, or
- Be administered or recognized by a federal, state or local government agency or court, or by a state or federally licensed hospital, health clinic, or medical doctor.
How can I get more information?
If you still have questions about the law, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). Your personal information is confidential, and you will remain anonymous.
If you want to find out if a drug rehabilitation program meets the described standards, contact the rehabilitation program.