Illegal and Prescription Drugs

The University prohibits the illegal use, possession,  sale, distribution, manufacture, and/or growth of illegal, synthetic, or counterfeit drugs on University premises (includes property operated off the main campus ), at any University sponsored event or program (including study abroad and immersion experiences) regardless of where it takes place.   Association with (including the presence at) gatherings involving such use, possession, sale, distribution, manufacture or growth is also prohibited.  Possession or use of equipment, products, or materials, that are  used or are reasonably anticipated to be used  in the manufacture, growth, distribution, sale, or use of illegal, synthetic, or counterfeit drugs or in the misuse, sale or distribution of prescription drugs is prohibited.  Examples of equipment, products, and materials include but are not limited to bongs (purchased or home-made), pipes, rolling papers, vaporizers, scales, and grinders.

The misuse of prescription and over the counter drugs is not permitted.  This includes sharing a prescription with unauthorized persons, selling a whole or partial prescription to unauthorized persons, intentionally combining a prescription with other substances, possessing/using a prescription drug not prescribed to you, and intentionally exceeding the prescribed dosage of a drug.

Students found responsible through the conduct process for the sale, distribution, manufacture, and/or growth of illegal, synthetic, and/or counterfeit drugs should expect to be suspended or expelled from the university.  This also applies to students found responsible for the sale and/or distribution of prescription drugs.

Members of the University community are expected to be aware of and obey federal, state, and municipal laws or ordinances regulating the use, possession, sale, distribution, manufacture, and/or growth of illegal, synthetic, or counterfeit drugs.  Those who are cited for violations of law or ordinances by, federal, state or municipal authorities may also face University conduct proceedings.  The University reserves the right to take disciplinary action against any student for off-campus behavior that violates this policy.

Federal Student Aid Penalties for Drug Convictions

A federal or state drug conviction (but not a local or municipal conviction) can disqualify a student for FSA funds.

See this FAQ sheet from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of National Drug Control Policy for more information.

Convictions only count against a student for aid eligibility purposes if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal student aid—they do not count if the offense was not during such a period, unless the student was denied federal benefits for drug trafficking by a federal or state judge (see drug abuse hold sidebar). Also, a conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record does not count, nor does one received as a juvenile, unless tried as an adult.

The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for FSA funds, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses. (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)

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

If the student was convicted of both possessing and selling illegal drugs, and the periods of ineligibility are different, the student will be ineligible for the longer period. Schools must provide each student who becomes ineligible for FSA funds due to a drug conviction a clear and conspicuous written notice of his loss of eligibility and the methods whereby he can become eligible again.

A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when a qualified drug rehabilitation program has been successfully completed including passing two unannounced drug tests given by such a program. Further drug convictions will eliminate all future eligibility.

Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain it, either after successfully completing a rehabilitation program (as described below, which includes passing two unannounced drug tests from such a program), or if a conviction is reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or three convictions for possession remain on the record. In such cases, the nature and dates of the remaining convictions will determine when the student regains eligibility. It is the student’s responsibility to certify successful completion of the rehabilitation program; as with the conviction question on the FAFSA, institutions are not required to confirm the reported information unless you have conflicting information.

When a student regains eligibility during the award year, Pell Grant, TEACH, and Campus-Based aid may be awarded for the current payment period and Direct Loans for the period of enrollment.

Standards for 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 a 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.


Effective August 16, 2013