MENU

What happens to federal student financial aid after a drug conviction?

Jul 09, 2012 What happens to federal student financial aid after a drug conviction?

“What happens to federal student financial aid after a drug conviction?” That is a concern I often hear. Here is what I have to share:

20 U.S. Code § 1091 provides for temporary or permanent loss (depending on the circumstances) of federal student financial aid for drug convictions as follows:

(r) Suspension of eligibility for drug-related offenses

(1) In general

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 for which the student was receiving any grant, loan, or work assistance under this subchapter and part C of subchapter I of chapter 34 of Title 42 shall not be eligible to receive any grant, loan, or work assistance under this subchapter and part C of subchapter I of chapter 34 of Title 42 from the date of that conviction for the period of time specified in the following table:

If convicted of an offense involving:
 

The possession of a controlled substance:

Ineligibility period is:
First offense 1 year
Second offense 2 years
Third offense Indefinite.
 

The sale of a controlled substance:

Ineligibility period is:
First offense 2 years
Second offense Indefinite.

(2) Rehabilitation

A student whose eligibility has been suspended under paragraph
(1) may resume eligibility before the end of the ineligibility period determined under such paragraph if–

(A) the student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program that–

(i) complies with such criteria as the Secretary shall prescribe in regulations for purposes of this paragraph; and

(ii) includes two unannounced drug tests;

(B) the student successfully passes two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program that complies with such criteria as the Secretary shall prescribe in regulations for purposes of subparagraph (A)(i); or

(C) the conviction is reversed, set aside, or otherwise rendered nugatory.

(3) Definitions

In this subsection, the term “controlled substance” has the meaning given the term in section 802(6) of Title 21.

Consequently, all is not automatically lost for one’s first drug conviction, where it is for drug possession. The student federal financial aid penalty for that is one year of ineligibility for such aid. Moreover: A student whose eligibility has been suspended under paragraph (1) may resume eligibility before the end of the ineligibility period determined under such paragraph if–  (A) the student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program that–

(i) complies with such criteria as the Secretary shall prescribe in regulations for purposes of this paragraph; and (ii) includes two unannounced drug tests.

I have yet to search for the foregoing regulations to end the ineligibility period early.

In 2007, several Congress members supported the RISE Act, to repeal the statutory provisions making federal student financial aid unavailable to those with drug convictions. As I understand it, the RISE Act never became law.

PREVIOUS
NEXT
No Comments

Post A Comment