Notice of Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

Suspension of Eligibility for Drug Convictions

As prescribed in section 484® of the Higher Education Act, if you, during a period of enrollment for which you were receiving any federal grant, loan, or work assistance, are convicted of any offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance, you shall not be eligible to receive any additional grant, loan, or work assistance from the date of that conviction for the period of time specified in the following table:

Period of Ineligibility for Title IV Federal Aid

Possession of Illegal Drugs

Sale 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

3+ Offenses

Indefinite Period


A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions to sell drugs.

If you are convicted of both possession and sale of illegal drugs, the overlapping periods of ineligibility will run concurrently, resulting in the longer period of ineligibility prevailing. Only convictions for an offense occurring during a period of enrollment for which you were receiving federal aid will impact eligibility. Convictions that are reversed, set aside, or removed from the your record will not impact your eligibility, nor will convictions occurring when you were a juvenile, unless tried as an adult.

A written notice will be provided to you if you lose eligibility for Title IV Federal financial aid funds due to a drug conviction. The notice will include details on how you can regain eligibility.

Your Responsibilities if Convicted During Period of Enrollment

According to the US Department of Education, if you are convicted of a drug offense after receiving federal aid, you must notify Central Piedmont's student financial aid office immediately. You will be immediately ineligible for further aid and will be required to pay back all aid received after the loss of eligibility.

You are required to self-certify your eligibility for federal aid with regard to drug convictions on the FAFSA. If you have been convicted of a drug offense while receiving Title IV Federal financial aid, you are required to report the conviction on item number 23 of the FAFSA. For additional information on the requirement, call a federal representative at 1.800.433.3243.

Regaining Eligibility

You regain eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends, the date your conviction is overturned, or the date you complete a qualified drug rehabilitation program – whichever occurs first.

If your eligibility has been suspended indefinitely, you may only regain it by successfully completing a qualified drug rehabilitation program. A qualified drug rehabilitation program must include at least two unannounced drug tests and satisfy at least one of the following requirements:

  • 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 federally- or state-licensed insurance company
  • be administered or recognized by a 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 your responsibility to certify to Central Piedmont’s student Financial Aid office that you have successfully completed a rehabilitation program.

For more information regarding how a drug-related conviction can impact a student’s financial aid, visit