If you are convicted of a drug offense after receiving federal aid money, you become ineligible for future federal financial aid and you may also have to pay back aid you receive after the conviction. Find out about the consequences of a drug conviction and how to avoid them.

Federal Regulations for Drug Offenses

U.S. Department of Education regulations state that you must notify the Office of Financial Aid immediately if you are convicted of a drug offense and have received federal financial aid money. You will become ineligible for federal aid and you may also be required to pay back any and all aid received after the conviction.

Convictions for Possession or Sale of Drugs

  • A federal drug conviction can disqualify you for federal student aid funds.
  • Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which you were receiving Title IV Financial Aid.
  • Convictions do not count if the offense was during a non-enrollment period.
  • Convictions that are reversed, set aside or removed from your student record do not count, nor does one received when you were a juvenile, unless you were charged as an adult.

Periods of Ineligibility

The period of ineligibility for federal student aid funds varies, depending on whether your conviction is for sale or possession and whether you had previous offenses. (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)

The chart below illustrates different periods of ineligibility:

Chart illustrating different periods of ineligibility
 Possession of Illegal DrugsSale 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 
3rd+ Offense Indefinite period Indefinite period

If you were convicted of both possessing and selling illegal drugs, and the periods of ineligibility are different, you will be ineligible for the longer period.

Regaining Eligibility

Students who have a conviction can take advantage of rehabilitation programs that can make you eligible for federal financial aid again. If you become ineligible for federal financial aid due to a drug conviction, Stevens Institute of Technology must provide you with a clear and conspicuous written notice of your loss of eligibility and the methods whereby you can become eligible again.

You regain eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends, or when you successfully complete a qualified drug rehabilitation program that includes passing two unannounced drug tests given by such a program. Further drug convictions will make you ineligible again.