FSA – Policies and Procedures

Unusual Enrollment History (UEH)

The Department of Education has carried out federal laws in an effort to forestall fraud and abuse within the Federal Student Aid Program by figuring out students which have acquired federal Pell Grants and/or Direct Loans at a number of establishments for the final 4 consecutive funding years.

A monetary assist utility flagged “2” and “3” might be reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid for uncommon enrollment historical past (UEH) to find out whether or not or not the student is enrolling solely lengthy sufficient to obtain money refunds of Federal Student Aid. 

The Office of Financial Aid at Columbia Southern University will overview the student’s accomplished analysis report together with all official educational transcripts from all faculties and universities attended in the course of the overview interval, to find out if educational credit had been earned for the concerned years. If federal Pell Grants and/or Direct Loans had been acquired and educational credit weren’t earned at any of the establishments attended, extra documentation might be requested. Documentation could also be faxed to (251) 224-0590 or emailed to [email protected]

All required documentation should be acquired and the UEH flag should be resolved earlier than a student is eligible to obtain Federal Student Aid.

Unusual Enrollment Appeal

If after reviewing all supporting documentation a student is set ineligible for Federal Student Aid, he/she might enchantment the willpower by finishing the Unusual Enrollment History Appeal Form  and submitting any extra supporting documentation to the Office of Financial Aid. Students might be notified by way of e-mail of the end result of the enchantment inside 14 enterprise days of receipt of all required documentation. 

Regaining Federal Student Aid Eligibility

A student decided ineligible for Federal Student Aid on account of UEH may have the chance to regain their eligibility. To be thought-about for monetary assist reinstatement a student should be unconditionally admitted to the college; earn credit in three phrases with out formally or unofficially withdrawing from any tried programs; and should meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements. If all necessities are met, a student should contact the Office of Financial Aid to find out reinstatement eligibility. 

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Verification Policy

CSU should verify the accuracy of all functions the Central Processing System (CPS) selects for verification, apart from students receiving unsubsidized loans solely. The CPS will choose candidates for verification primarily based on edit checks which establish inconsistencies and/or potential errors. CSU should additionally confirm any utility the college has purpose to consider is wrong or discrepant.

All monetary assist candidates are inspired to file federal revenue tax returns for applicant, mother or father and/or partner as relevant, previous to finishing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will permit students and potential students to make the most of the IRS Data Retrieval instrument when finishing the FAFSA. The IRS Data Retrieval instrument saves time and will increase the accuracy of the monetary info collected on the FAFSA. The IRS Data Retrieval instrument can be the quickest and most safe resolution for assembly verification necessities if relevant.

Students and potential students chosen for verification might be despatched an e-mail notification with info and instructions for acquiring required documentation. The Prospect and Student portals will permit students to view all required monetary assist paperwork, verify the standing of their monetary assist utility and think about their monetary assist award, as soon as accomplished. If CSU receives a subsequent FAFSA for a student chosen for verification after they’ve been initially awarded federal monetary assist, all future disbursements might be positioned on maintain. If verification isn’t full, all beforehand disbursed federal monetary assist might be returned, which is able to lead to a stability due on the student account.

The information reported on the verification worksheet, federal tax transcript and different supporting documentation supplied is checked in opposition to the suitable information components on the FAFSA. All conflicting info will should be corrected on the ISIR by the college or student as relevant and a brand new anticipated household contribution (EFC) might be calculated. Students is not going to be awarded federal monetary assist till verification is full. If CSU receives a subsequent ISIR affecting general monetary assist eligibility, the monetary assist award might be adjusted as relevant. The up to date info might require a return of already acquired Federal Student Aid funds leading to a stability due on the student account. A student might be notified by way of e-mail of any modifications and directed to login to the CSU Financial Aid Portal to view the up to date award info and/or extra necessities.

Referrals might be made to the Office of Inspector General ought to there be allegations of fraud or different prison misconduct in reference to an applicant’s utility for monetary assist.

CSU gives a number of time period begin dates all through the award 12 months. Below are the deadlines wherein an unconditionally admitted student should have all required monetary assist paperwork on file in an effort to make the most of monetary assist in an relevant time period.

2021-2022 Financial Aid Deadlines
Term Start Date Financial Aid Documents Deadline
1B22 07/07/21 06/15/21
1A22 07/28/21 07/06/21
2B22 09/08/21 08/17/21
2A22 09/29/21 09/07/21
3B22 11/10/21 10/19/21
3A22 12/01/21 11/09/21
4B22 01/26//22 01/04/22
4A22 02/16/22 01/25/22
5B22 03/30/22 03/08/22
5A22 04/27/22 03/29/22
6B22 06/01/22 05/10/22

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Undergraduate Grade Level Determination

Any student pursuing an undergraduate diploma should be categorized by grade degree, in addition to meet grade degree development in an effort to adjust to the necessities of FSA and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program.  Graduate students would not have grade degree necessities.

Please consult with the desk beneath to find out the grade degree or the development price of an undergraduate student.

Undergraduate Grade Level Determination
Number of Credits Completed Student’s Grade Level
0 to 24 credit Freshman
25 to 48 credit Sophomore
49 to 72 credit Junior
73 or extra credit Senior

Loan Counseling

Loan Entrance/Exit Counseling (Required)

The U.S. Department of Education requires that any student receiving a direct loan full loan entrance and exit counseling. Loan entrance counseling gives info to students regarding how one can handle student loans, each throughout and after school. Exit Counseling is usually required as soon as a student drops beneath half-time enrollment standing, withdraws or graduates. The student should notify the CSU Office of Financial Aid previous to withdrawal or commencement for loan exit counseling. The objective of loan exit counseling is to tell the student of their tentative complete loans acquired whereas in attendance at CSU and to supply the student with an estimated fee schedule.

Borrower Rights & Responsibilities

The borrower has the best to obtain the next info earlier than leaving faculty.

  • The quantity of the student’s complete debt (principal and estimated curiosity), what the student’s rate of interest is, and the overall curiosity costs on the loan(s)
  • A loan reimbursement schedule that lets the student know when his/her first fee is due, the quantity and frequency of funds, and the quantity of every fee
  • If the student has FFEL Program Loans, the title of the lender or company that holds the student’s loan(s), the place to ship the student’s funds, and the place to write down or name if the student has questions
  • The charges the student ought to anticipate in the course of the reimbursement interval, resembling late costs and assortment or litigation prices if delinquent or in default
  • An rationalization of accessible choices for consolidating or refinancing the student’s loan
  • A press release that the student can repay his/her loan with out penalty at any time
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The borrower has a duty to do the next.

  • Understand that by signing the promissory be aware, the student is agreeing to repay the loan in line with the phrases of the be aware
  • Make funds on the student loan even when the student doesn’t obtain a invoice or reimbursement discover
  • If the student applies for a deferment or forbearance, he/she should nonetheless proceed to make funds till notification that the request has been granted
  • Notify the suitable consultant (establishment, company, or lender) that manages the student’s loan when the student graduates, withdraws from faculty, or drops beneath half-time standing; modifications his/her title, deal with, or Social Security Number, or transfers to a different establishment
  • Receive entrance counseling earlier than being given the primary loan disbursement, and to obtain exit counseling earlier than leaving faculty

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FSA Disbursements

When a student applies for monetary assist, the quantity of Federal Student Aid (FSA) awarded is predicated on the price of attendance for a full educational 12 months. The educational 12 months typically consists of 4 phrases. The quantity of FSA awarded for the tutorial 12 months might be divided into 4 equal disbursements, to not exceed the established value of attendance for every time period.

Federal loans to students and Federal Pell Grant disbursements is not going to put up to the students’ accounts till after day 14 of the time period. After the primary week of the time period has ended, CSU will confirm that the primary week of assignments have been accomplished in all programs enrolled for that time period. It is essential {that a} student completes the primary week of educational necessities; in any other case it would end result within the student being institutionally dropped from the course(s). Any Pell eligible student institutionally dropped from a course(s) may have an adjustment to their award.

Once federal funds have been disbursed, students will obtain a disbursement discover by way of e-mail from the CSU Office of Financial Aid.

2021-2022 Disbursements
Track Term Start Date End Date 2-week Disb Date Stipend Mailing Date
A 1A22 07/28/2021 09/21/2021 08/11/2021 08/24/2021
2A22 09/29/2021 11/23/2021 10/13/2021 10/26/2021
3A22 12/01/2021 02/08/2022 *12/15/2021 *12/28/2021
4A22 02/16/2022 04/12/2022 03/02/2022 03/15/2022
5A22 04/27/2022 06/21/2022 05/11/2022 05/24/2022
B 1B22 07/07/2021 08/31/2021 07/21/2021 08/03/2021
2B22 09/08/2021 11/02/2021 09/22/2021 10/05/2021
3B22 11/10/2021 01/18/2022 *11/24/21 *12/07/2021
4B22 01/26/2021 03/22/2022 02/09/2022 02/22/2022
5B22 03/30/2021 05/24/2022 04/13/2022 04/26/2022
6B22 06/01/2021 07/26/2022 06/15/2022 06/28/2022

*Holiday adjustment

Note: This schedule isn’t a assure of supply date and is contingent upon CSU efficiently receiving your funds as scheduled. In the occasion of a delay in disbursement, these dates might fluctuate.

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Financial Aid Stipends

If there’s a credit stability remaining on a student’s account in spite of everything obligations are paid, a monetary assist stipend might be generated. Financial assist stipends usually are not generated till the instructors have accomplished their attendance verifications. The attendance verifications should be accomplished for every class {that a} student is registered for or the monetary assist stipend might be delayed.

Automated Clearing House (ACH) is the University’s most well-liked methodology for processing student stipends. The ACH methodology permits the University to deposit your stipend immediately right into a U.S. checking or financial savings account. This is probably the most environment friendly and expeditious approach to course of a stipend.

You might enroll in ACH deposit by way of the myCSU Portal. You will want your bank routing quantity and your checking or financial savings account quantity. This info is accessible on the underside of your checks or immediately out of your banking establishment. We perceive that many individuals might not carry checks. In this case, it’s best to get hold of a letter out of your monetary establishment on their letterhead with the pertinent bank account routing info on it and return it with the ACH kind.

PLEASE NOTE: International students might solely obtain ACH deposit right into a U.S. checking or financial savings account.

If you don’t join the ACH methodology, a verify for the credit stability might be mailed to your present deal with in our database.

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Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4)

If a student receiving Title IV funds ceases to be enrolled in a time period, the Federal authorities mandates that CSU should decide the quantity of Title IV earned as of the date the student formally or unofficially withdraws. The portion of Title IV a student is entitled to obtain is calculated on a share foundation by evaluating the overall variety of calendar days within the time period to the variety of calendar days accomplished previous to withdrawing. For instance, if a student withdraws from all programs after finishing 20% of a time period, they might be entitled to twenty% of the help awarded for the time period and 80% of the help awarded can be unearned and returned to the Federal authorities. If the share of assist earned is bigger than 60%, the student is taken into account to have earned all assist for the time period wherein the student withdrew.

Return of Unearned Aid

In accordance with federal laws, CSU is required to return all funds that had been disbursed to the student wherein the student was decided to be ineligible for primarily based on the R2T4 calculation. A return of Federal Student Aid funds might lead to a stability due on a student account. The unearned assist might be returned to the Federal authorities within the following order:

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  • Direct Subsidized Loan
  • Direct Parent or Graduate PLUS Loan
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Withdrawal Date

The withdrawal date used to carry out the R2T4 calculation is the date the student formally notifies CSU of their intent to withdraw.

Unofficial Withdrawals

The withdrawal date used to carry out the R2T4 calculation for students who unofficially withdraw from all programs would be the midpoint of the time period, or the final date of academically associated exercise; whichever is bigger.

Post Withdrawal Disbursement

A student could also be eligible to obtain a put up withdrawal disbursement if after performing a R2T4 calculation it’s decided a student has earned extra awarded assist not but disbursed. Students eligible to obtain a put up withdrawal loan disbursement might be despatched an e-mail notification and should present authorization previous to the establishment posting funds to a student account. All funds might be utilized to any excellent costs associated to tuition and charges previous to issuing a stipend to the student.

This coverage is topic to vary in an effort to adjust to administrative and regulatory necessities. Questions concerning this coverage must be addressed to the Director of Financial Aid.

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Leave of Absence Policy

Students enrolled within the Term studying possibility which can be unable to enroll in a number of phrases, might apply for a brief Leave of Absence (LOA) from the University. This coverage is designed to permit a student the pliability to take a brief break from his or her educational program and upon return, a student isn’t be required to use for readmission to the University. A student is not going to be granted a LOA in the midst of a time period; subsequently, for functions of Title IV, a student granted a brief LOA is taken into account withdrawn from the University throughout this time. A student is anticipated to finish all programs if at the moment enrolled in a time period and apply for a LOA to start firstly of the subsequent time period within the educational program. If a student is having issue or unable to finish all programs within the time period they might apply for an incomplete, an incomplete for particular circumstance or withdraw, wherein case a Return of Title IV calculation could also be required.

A student might apply for a LOA by submitting the Leave of Absence Request Form situated within the myCSU Student Portal. All requests should be submitted a minimal of three (3) weeks previous to the beginning of the time period the student might be unable to attend. A short lived LOA from the University is granted solely to a student planning to return to his or her educational program on the finish of the LOA. In addition, for each undergraduate and graduate students, the LOA request might not exceed greater than two consecutive phrases inside a 12 month interval. A student might request multiple LOA throughout their educational program to not exceed two phrases inside a 12 month interval.

Important information regarding a Leave of Absence:

  • For functions of Title IV. a student is taken into account withdrawn from the University whereas on a LOA; subsequently, federal student loans usually are not eligible for an in-school deferment;
  • A student isn’t eligible to obtain Federal Student Aidwhile on a LOA;
  • A student who fails to return from a LOA is required to reapply for admissions to the University after a interval of 12 months of inactivity in his or her educational program.

Military/Special Services Leave of Absence Provision

Undergraduate and graduate students requiring a army or particular providers deployment might request a provisional LOA for the designated deployment interval as much as 12 consecutive months. A student might apply for a provisional LOA by submitting the Leave of Absence Request Form situated within the myCSU Student Portal. In addition, a student should present supporting documentation concerning the character and interval of deployment from his or her commanding officer or supervisor. If the army or particular providers deployment happens throughout a course, the student could also be required to withdraw from the course or request an incomplete for particular circumstances.

A student ought to contact his or her educational advisor and the Office of Financial Aid to debate potential educational and monetary implications previous to taking a LOA from his or her educational program.

Note: Students enrolled within the DBA program ought to consult with the DBA Leave of Absence Policy within the Student Handbook.

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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy for Title IV Students

Term

Federal laws require CSU to determine and apply cheap requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for eligible students to obtain monetary help underneath the applications licensed by Title IV of the Higher Education Act. CSU students who want to be thought-about for monetary assist should:

  • Be in good standing on the college;
  • Maintain passable educational progress of their program of examine, as set forth on this coverage.

SAP is a monetary assist eligibility requirement and is run by the college along with the tutorial requirements of efficiency required underneath the CSU Academic Progress Policy.

Students are evaluated for SAP on the finish of each fee interval.  All students are evaluated on three requirements: grade level common (qualitative measure), tempo of completion (quantitative measure), and most timeframe. Students should meet all three requirements to keep up eligibility for Title IV funds.

Undergraduate Student Standards

  1. Grade Point Average (Qualitative Measure)

    Undergraduate students should keep a minimal qualitative measure of progress outlined as a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

  2. Pace of Completion (Quantitative Measure)

    Undergraduate students (both full-time or part-time) should obtain a passing price of a minimum of 66.67 p.c of all credit hours tried. Credit hours tried embrace accomplished programs, repeated programs, withdrawals, and incompletes. Transfer credit, if relevant, can be calculated within the tempo of completion as tried and accomplished credit hours.

  3. Maximum Time body

    Undergraduate students should full their diploma program inside 150 p.c of the semester hour necessities for the diploma as revealed within the catalog. Students should full an affiliate diploma inside 90 semester hours and a bachelor’s diploma inside 180 semester hours. Transfer credit, if relevant, can be calculated within the most timeframe calculation.

Graduate Student Standards

  1. Grade Point Average (Qualitative Measure)

    Graduate students should keep a minimal qualitative measure of progress outlined as a 3.0 cumulative GPA for his or her diploma program.

  2. Pace of Completion (Quantitative Measure)

    Graduate students should obtain a passing price of a minimal of fifty p.c of 0 to 9 tried credit hours, a minimal of 60 p.c of 10 to 18 tried credit hours and a minimal of 66.67 p.c of 19 or extra tried credit hours in the direction of the diploma program. Attempted hours embrace accomplished programs, repeated programs, withdrawals, and incompletes. Transfer credit, if relevant, can be calculated within the tempo of completion as tried and accomplished credit hours.

  3. Maximum Time body

    Graduate students should full their diploma program inside 150 p.c of the semester hour necessities for the diploma as revealed within the catalog. Students should full a grasp’s diploma inside 54 semester hours and a doctorate diploma inside 90 semester hours. Transfer credit, if relevant, can be calculated within the most timeframe calculation.

SAP Policy Notification

Students are notified of the SAP coverage within the CSU catalog, web site and in the course of the preliminary monetary assist utility course of. All intervals of enrollment at CSU are calculated in SAP, together with intervals of enrollment throughout which a student didn’t obtain monetary assist.

Course Drop

Students are allowed to drop a course with none destructive affect on SAP by means of the time period “drop date” as listed on the tutorial calendar. A course designated as a “DP” doesn’t rely as tried hours or within the GPA when figuring out SAP.

Official Course Withdrawal

A student who withdraws from a number of programs after the drop date might be issued a grade of “W”. Course withdrawals will rely as tried credit hours when measuring the utmost time-frame and quantitative progress of SAP(eliminated comma) however is not going to be included within the GPA. A student who withdraws from all tried credit hours in the course of the student’s first interval of enrollment with CSU will even get hold of an undefined GPA. An undefined GPA is equal to a 0.00 GPA.

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Unofficial Course Withdrawal

A student who unofficially withdraws from a number of programs might be issued a grade of “WF”. Unofficial withdrawals will rely as credit hours tried when measuring the utmost time-frame and quantitative SAP. A grade of “WF” counts as a grade of “F” when measuring qualitative SAP progress.

Transfer Credits

Transfer credit accepted towards the student’s diploma program might be included as credit hours tried and earned when calculating the SAP most timeframe and quantitative progress.

Repeated Courses

Students receiving Title IV Aid might repeat a course, as allowed underneath CSU educational and monetary assist insurance policies. Repeated programs might be issued a grade of “R” and rely as tried credit hours towards the quantitative and most timeframe SAP requirements. A grade of “R” doesn’t rely in qualitative willpower of SAP. The grade earned upon retake might be used within the cumulative GPA.

Incomplete Grades

Students receiving Federal Student Aid might obtain incomplete grades, as allowed underneath CSU educational coverage. A grade of incomplete will rely as credit hours tried in figuring out SAP. Students issued a grade of incomplete whereas on SAP Financial Aid Warning is not going to be eligible to make use of Federal Student Aid for subsequent fee intervals, pending the decision of the unfinished grade.

Change of Program

All intervals of enrollment rely when assessing passable educational progress for undergraduate students. All tried credit hours might be included in making passable educational progress determinations when a student modifications diploma applications (majors) on the identical diploma degree (e.g. Bachelor to Bachelor). For graduate students, solely the credit hours related to the programs that apply to every particular Graduate diploma program might be used within the passable educational progress analysis.

SAP Evaluation and Warning

SAP is evaluated after each fee interval. Students who fail to fulfill the GPA and /or tempo of completion necessities of SAP might be notified and might be positioned on SAP Financial Aid Warning for one time period and are inspired to work with their educational advisor to debate enrollment choices. A student positioned on SAP Warning might be eligible to obtain Federal Student Aid for one interval of enrollment.

A student who exceeds the utmost time-frame requirement of SAP might be ineligible to proceed to obtain Federal Student Aid except an enchantment is granted, as described beneath.

A student who fails to fulfill a number of of the SAP requirements on the finish of the Financial Aid Warning interval might be ineligible to obtain Federal Student Aid except an enchantment is granted.

Financial Aid Suspension Appeal

Students not assembly SAP on the finish of the Financial Aid Warning interval might enchantment that willpower and lack of Federal Student Aid eligibility if they’ve extenuating circumstances, resembling damage or sickness, the loss of life of a relative, or different particular circumstances. The enchantment should include the Financial Aid Suspension enchantment kind accomplished by the student and should clarify and doc why the student was not capable of make passable educational progress in the course of the interval of substandard educational efficiency, what has modified that may permit the student to fulfill passable educational progress necessities on the subsequent analysis and a proposed Academic Plan resulting in profitable program completion ready by the student’s educational advisor.

Maximum Time Frame Appeal

Students who attain or exceed the utmost time-frame allowed whereas finishing their first diploma are now not eligible to obtain Federal Student Aid. Students might enchantment this choice. The enchantment should include the MTF enchantment kind accomplished by the student and the student’s educational advisor, an in depth rationalization and supporting documentation of any uncommon circumstances resembling damage, sickness, loss of life of a relative, or different particular circumstances that prevented the student from acquiring a level throughout the 150% credit hour requirement. The enchantment should additionally embrace a proposed Academic Plan resulting in profitable program completion ready by the student’s educational advisor to incorporate anticipated commencement date and credit hours remaining within the diploma program. If the enchantment is accepted, assist might be awarded just for the remaining credit required for the completion of the diploma.

Submission of Appeal

Students might be despatched an e-mail notification from the Office of Financial Aid to incorporate the enchantment kind as soon as a student turns into ineligible to obtain Federal Student Aid because of a destructive SAP willpower. Appeals must be submitted in writing and addressed to: Columbia Southern University, SAP Appeals Committee, Office of Financial Aid, 21982 University Lane, Orange Beach, AL 36561 or emailed to Attention: SAP Appeals Committee at [email protected] Appeals with out supporting documentation is not going to be thought-about.  The committee will make each effort to think about every enchantment fastidiously and supply a call inside seven to 10 enterprise days.

SAP Financial Aid Probation

Appeals which can be accepted will lead to a student being positioned on SAP Financial Aid Probation. While on SAP Financial Aid Probation, students might be evaluated on the finish of every fee interval to make sure the student is assembly SAP and/or the circumstances of the Academic Plan. Students on SAP Financial Aid Probation are eligible to obtain Federal Student Aid.

Reinstatement of Financial Aid

If a student’s enchantment is denied or a student doesn’t want to enchantment, a student might regain eligibility for Federal Student Aid by enrolling in and efficiently finishing programs in his or her diploma program with out using Federal Student Aid. A student might request monetary assist reinstatement as soon as he/she efficiently completes sufficient credit to fulfill the minimal SAP requirements. A student ought to contact the Office of Financial Aid in writing if the student feels she or he has regained monetary assist eligibility and needs to be reinstated.

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Drug Convictions Policy

According to federal legislation, a student who has been convicted of the sale or possession of unlawful medication underneath any federal or state legislation throughout a interval of enrollment for which the student was receiving monetary assist (grant, loans, and/or work-study) isn’t eligible for Federal Student Aid. A conviction that was reversed, put aside, or faraway from the student’s document doesn’t have an effect on Federal Student Aid eligibility, nor does a conviction acquired when the student was a minor, except the student was tried as an grownup.

Period of Ineligibility for Drug Convictions
Number of Offenses Possession of unlawful medication Sale of Illegal medication
1st offense 1 12 months from date of conviction 2 years from date of conviction
2nd offense 2 years from date of conviction Indefinite interval
3+ offenses Indefinite interval Indefinite interval

If the student was convicted of each possessing and promoting unlawful medication and the interval of ineligibility are totally different, the student could also be ineligible for Federal Student Aid for an extended time frame.

A student regains eligibility the day after the interval of ineligibility ends or when he efficiently completes a certified drug rehabilitation program. Further drug convictions will affect Federal Student Aid eligibility as effectively.

For extra info, please overview FAFSA’s Student Eligibility Worksheet.

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