Legal Notices > Consumer Information > Notice of Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

Notice of Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

The following information is provided as part of DCCCD’s Consumer Information for students.


A conviction for any offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs, during a period of enrollment when receiving federal student financial aid, will result in the loss of eligibility for any Title IV, Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) grant, loan or work study assistance. A conviction that was reversed, set aside or removed does not count, nor does one received as a juvenile, unless tried as an adult.

The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for federal student aid 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.

Offense
​​Possession of Illegal Drugs ​​Sale of Illegal Drugs
First offenseOne year from date of conviction
Two years from date of conviction
Second offense​Two years from date of conviction Indefinite period
Three or more offensesIndefinite period Indefinite period

To regain eligibility, a person must successfully complete a drug rehabilitation program recognized by a federal, state or local government agency, and the program must include at least two unannounced drug tests, or the conviction must have been reversed, set aside or removed from the student’s record. If a student is denied eligibility for an indefinite period, the student can regain eligibility after completing a drug rehabilitation program as described previously or if the conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or three convictions for possession remain on the record. In such cases, the nature and dates of the remaining convictions will determine when the student regains eligibility.