How to Answer FAFSA Question #23: Prior Drug Convictions

How to Answer FAFSA Question #23 Prior Drug Convictions

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23. Have you been convicted for the possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid (such as grants, work-study, or loans)?
Answer “No” if you have never received federal student aid or if you have never had a drug conviction for an offense that occurred while receiving federal student aid. If you have a drug conviction for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid, answer “Yes,” A recently passed law means that you are now eligible for federal student aid even if you have been convicted for the sale or possession of illegal drugs while receiving federal student aid. No further action is required.
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Why are they asking this information?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) asks a question about drug convictions to determine whether the student needs to complete a worksheet to determine whether their eligibility for federal student aid is affected.

How to answer this question / fill out this section

You will want to select “No” to this question if:

  • You have never received federal student aid.
  • You have never had a conviction for possessing or selling illegal drugs.
  • The conviction was not a state or federal offense.
  • The conviction occurred before you were 18 years of age and you were not tried as an adult.
  • The conviction was removed from your record.
  • The offense that led to your conviction did not occur during a period of enrollment for which you were receiving federal student aid (grants, work-study, or loans).

Selecting "Yes" in this section does not disqualify you for Federal aid eligibility. Your eligibility won't be suspended. Drug convictions no longer affect your federal student aid eligibility. If you answer "Yes" you will be provided a worksheet to help you determine whether your conviction affects your eligibility for federal student aid. Please answer the questions correctly; however, they won't impact your eligibility.

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