Effect of Drug Convictions on Student Aid

posted by Scott Michels on Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Convictions for possession or sale of controlled substances have consequences of potential jail/prison time, fines, probation/parole, and loss of driving privileges.  A consequence of which most are not aware is that college students who are convicted of these offenses face the loss of their federal financial student aid. 
Federal law provides that a student who is convicted of any offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance for conduct that occurred during a period of enrollment in school where the student was receiving any grant, loan, or work assistance shall be ineligible for such assistance for a specified time period.  This applies to both misdemeanors and felonies. 

The following table sets forth the ineligibility periods:
Conviction for possession of controlled substance Duration of ineligibility
First offense 1 year
Second offense 2 years
Third offense Indefinite
Conviction for sale of a controlled substance Duration of ineligibility
First offense 2 years
Second offense Indefinite 
It is possible for a student to have their eligibility reinstated before the specified time period if they meet the following criteria:
            a).  Satisfactorily completion of a drug rehabilitation program that:
                        1).  Complies with federal regulations
                        2).  Includes two unannounced drug tests which the student passes; or
            b).  Passing two unannounced drug tests administered by an approved drug rehabilitation                               program; or
            c).  The conviction is reversed, set aside, or otherwise rendered nugatory. 
  1. controlled substance
  2. criminal defense
  3. drug charge defense
  4. marijuana
  5. marijuana laws
  6. student aid

About The Author

Mr. Michels grew up in Osage, Iowa where he graduated from Osage High School in 2000. He then attended Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa where he graduated, magna cum laude, in December 2003 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Criminology and Psychology. At UIU, M ... read more