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             Policies and Penalties for Drug Law Violations       
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    Federal Student Financial Aid Policies and Penalties for Drug Law Violations

    Department of Education regulations state, if a student is convicted of a drug offense after receiving Federal aid money, he or she must notify the Office of Financial Aid immediately and that student will become ineligible for federal aid and also may be required to pay back any and all aid received after the conviction.

    Students who have a conviction can take advantage of rehabilitation programs that can make him or her eligible for federal financial aid again.

    Student Convicted of Possession or Sale of Drugs (the following information was taken from the Federal Student Aid Handbook, Volume 1 Student Eligibility)

    A federal drug conviction can disqualify a student for FSA funds. Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV Financial Aid; they do not count if the offense was during a non-enrollment period. Convictions that are reversed, set aside or removed from a student record do not count, nor does one received when she was a juvenile, unless she were charged 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 offense 1 year from date of conviction   2 years from date of conviction
    2nd offense 2 years from date of conviction   Indefinite Period
    3+ offenses   Indefinite Period  

    If the 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. Schools must provide each student who becomes ineligible for FSA funds due to a drug conviction a clear and conspicuous written notice of his loss of eligibility and the methods whereby he can become eligible again.

    A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends (i.e. for a 1st or 2nd offense); or when he or she successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program that includes passing two unannounced drug tests given by such a program. Further drug convictions will make him ineligible again.

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