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Impact of a Drug Conviction

A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for FSA funds. Radford University will review all information that is submitted by students on the FAFSA that confirm they have a drug conviction.  Students are notified individually at the time their FAFSA application is reviewed of their ineligibility and given the information on how to regain eligiblity. 

Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving financial aid.   If a Radford University student is convicted of a drug offense during an academic year they will be ineligible for future financial aid based on the guidelines outlined in the Federal Student Aid Handbook.

The information below is provided by the Federal Student Aid Handbook.  The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for financial aid, 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 Substance Sale of Illegal Substance
First 1 year from date of conviction 2 years from date of conviction
Second 2 years from date of conviction Indefinitely
Third Indefinitely  


A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or with the successfully completion of a qualified drug rehabilitation program. Further drug convictions will make the student ineligible again.

Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain it only after successfully completing a rehabilitation program, or if a 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.