Federal Student Aid Penalties for Illegal Drug Convictions

According to an act of Congress, students convicted in court of illegal drug violation are not eligible to receive federal financial assistance.  Federal assistance includes grants, loans, and work assistance otherwise provided to eligible college students under Title IV of the Higher Education Act.  The period of non-eligibility begins on the date of the conviction and remains in effect until the student has met the rehabilitation requirements as specified in Public Law 105-244, Title IV, Part G, Section 483(f)(1)(r)(1).

The prohibition on federal aid applies to any student who has been convicted of any offense under any Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance as defined by section 102(6) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(6)). Laws regulating distilled spirits, wine, and malt beverages are not included within the definition of “controlled substance.” 

For information on the health effects of illegal drugs, the criminal penalties for federal law violations, and state criminal penalties, refer to the tables in Part VI of the Dean of Students' policy website index.