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Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial Aid Eligibility Restrictions

Students with criminal convictions have limited eligibility for federal student aid. If you have a specific question about your eligibility status, we ask that you contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.

Drug Law Violations

The Higher Education Act of 1965, in its amended status, is very clear on the responsibilities of students and what violations warrant loss of eligibility to receive financial aid. If you are an aid recipient and have been convicted under federal or state law of the possession or sale of drugs while you are enrolled in school, your federal — and in some cases your state — financial aid eligibility will be suspended. If you are convicted of a drug offense after you submit the FAFSA, you will lose eligibility for federal student aid and you may be liable for returning any financial aid you received during the period of ineligibility.

Regaining Eligibility

Effective June 17, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education has enacted early implementation of certain parts of the FAFSA Simplification Act. Starting for the 2021-22 aid year, the requirement of suspension of Title IV aid eligibility for drug-related convictions that occurred while receiving Title IV aid has been removed.  As a result, the requirement has been waived for 2021-22 and will continue to be suspended each aid year until 2023-24. The suspension of this requirement does not apply to state scholarships and grants.

If you have lost your federal student aid eligibility due to a drug conviction, you can regain eligibility. You must pass two random drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program, but the program must also meet the criteria established by the United States Department of Education. If you regain eligibility during the academic year, please notify our office immediately. We do still encourage you to complete the FAFSA if you’re no longer eligible for federal aid because you might qualify for nonfederal aid.

Repeat Coursework

Federal regulations limit the number of times a student may repeat a course and receive federal financial aid for that course.

  • A student may receive federal financial aid when repeating a course that was previously failed (F) or withdrawn from (W).
  • Once a student passes a course (with a D or better, including a Pass grade) the student may receive federal financial aid for only one additional attempt of the same course, regardless of the grade earned for the second attempt.
  • For the second attempt, a grade of W does not count as an attempt.   However, a passing grade or a grade of F, FN or WF does count as an attempt and the student is no longer eligible for federal aid for that course, even if it is a requirement from the college or school to earn a grade higher than a D.
  • If a student retakes a course that is no longer eligible for financial aid, the credits are excluded from the total enrollment and the student’s financial aid will be adjusted to exclude these credits. 
  • Please note that the repeat coursework rule could also affect academic progress.  Repeated courses will be counted in both the attempted hours and hours earned when determining maximum timeframe.  To see maximum timeframe limits for each program, please review the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

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