As of December 2020, the Department of Education removed penalties that resulted in a loss of federal student aid eligibility for students who had been convicted under federal or state law for possession or sale of illegal drugs if the offense occurred while the student was receiving Title IV aid.

The Department of Justice may place a processing hold on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for some students who have been convicted of possession or sale of illegal drugs based on prior judgments.

To resolve the hold, a student must call the Department of Education at 202-377-3889 or email This information is also provided upon submission of the FAFSA if it is applicable to the student.