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Drug Convictions

The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 included a new student eligibility provision. It provides that a student is ineligible for federal student aid if convicted, under federal or state law, of any offense involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance (generally meaning illegal drugs) while receiving Title IV Financial Assistance. The period of ineligibility begins on the date of conviction and lasts until the end of a statutorily specified period. The student may regain eligibility early by completing a drug rehabilitation program or if the conviction is overturned.

Students affected by the new law may avoid the loss of eligibility by completing an acceptable drug rehabilitation program.