In accordance with U.S. Department of Education regulations, if a student is convicted of a drug offense after receiving federal student aid (FSA) money, he or she must notify their respective college’s financial aid office immediately.

A conviction for any offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs, during a period of enrollment when receiving federal aid, will result in the loss of eligibility for any Title IV, HEA grant, loan, or work study assistance. A conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed does not count, nor does one received as a juvenile, unless tried as an adult.

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 offense1 year from date of conviction2 years from date of conviction
2nd offense2 years from date of convictionIndefinite period of ineligibility
3rd offenseIndefinite period of ineligibilityIndefinite period of ineligibility