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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,” but complete and submit this application, and we will mail you a worksheet to help you determine if your conviction affects your eligibility for aid. If you are unsure how to answer this question, call 1-800-433-3243 for help.

Why are they asking this information?

Prior drug convictions may make you ineligible for Federal financial aid, though there are certain conditions where you could still be eligible.

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 automatically disqualify you for Federal aid eligibility. You will be given additional questions beyond this to determine if that is the case. Even if ineligible for Federal aid, you may still qualify for your home state’s grant or assistance programs, so it is recommended that you continue through and submit the FAFSA.

John Haggerty lives in Philadelphia and is currently employed at Swarthmore College, located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and comes in ranked #4 in the 2017 edition of Best Colleges in National Liberal Arts Colleges. He has 8 years experience in financial aid. John loves working in higher education knowing that he might play a small part in helping students along their path through college and into the world.


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