A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for Title IV funds. A student who has been 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 in which federal student aid was received shall not be eligible to receive federal student aid (including any grant, loan, or work assistance) during the period beginning on the date of such conviction and ending after the interval specified in the following table:

If convicted of an offense involving:

The possession of a controlled substance:


First offense 1 year
Second offense 2 years
Third offense Indefinite

The sale of a controlled substance:


First offense 2 years
Second offense Indefinite

Note: Convictions that are reversed, set aside, or removed from your record do not count, nor does any conviction received while the student was a juvenile, unless they were tried as an adult. Alcohol and tobacco are not illegal drugs under this law.

Regaining Eligibility

Rehabilitation: A student whose eligibility has been suspended may resume eligibility before the end of the ineligibility period if the student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program and passes two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program.

Standards for a Qualified Drug Rehabilitation Program:

  • be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a federal, state, or local government program
  • be qualified to receive payment directly or indirectly from a federally or state-licensed insurance company
  • be administered or recognized by federal, state, or local government agency or court
  • be administered or recognized by a federally or state-licensed hospital, health clinic, or medical doctor

It is the student's responsibility to certify that s/he has successfully completed a qualified drug rehabilitation program and passed the required drug tests. Students may submit documentation to the Financial Aid Office if they have met the requirements to regain Title IV eligibility.

If I have a drug conviction, should I still apply for aid?

Yes, because you may be eligible depending on the date and number of convictions. You may still be eligible for non-federal aid and you may be able to regain your eligibility.

Answer the question about drugs on the FAFSA (#35). Do NOT leave this question blank. If you answer YES, you can call Federal Student Aid at 800-433-3243 if you need help filling out the worksheet after you receive it.

Graduate Financial Aid Quick Links:

Financial Aid Application Process

Required Steps

Financial Aid Self Service

Maintaining Aid

Forms and Publications

Managing Your Money

Scholarships and Grants


Other Sources of Funding


Contact Us:

Financial Aid Office
Elderdice Hall
Hours: M-F 8:30-4:30pm
Phone: 410-857-2233
Fax: 410-386-4608
Email: finaid@mcdaniel.edu
School Code: 002109