Many people are aware that a college student can lose their federal financial aid if they are convicted of sale of illegal drugs. I just wanted to warn everyone that the same loss for a year or two or three can occur (including federally subsidized loans) for a drug possession conviction. Some states also make these persons ineligible for state college grants.
As another person noted, you can still get aid if you commit murder, just don't get convicted of having a joint.
Here's a quote from the US Dept. of Education website:
"The Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended (HEA) suspends aid eligibility for students who have been convicted under federal or state law of the sale or possession of drugs, if the offense occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal student aid (grants, loans, and/or work-study). If you have a conviction(s) for these offenses, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or go to the FAFSA on the WebSM site, click on "Before Beginning A FAFSA" in the left column, then click on "Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet" to find out how this law applies to you.
If you have lost federal student aid eligibility due to a drug conviction, you can regain eligibility if you pass two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program that complies with criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education.
Civil Commitment for Sexual Offenses - A student subject to an involuntary civil commitment after completing a period of incarceration for a forcible or nonforcible sexual offense is ineligible to receive a Federal Pell grant.
Even if you are ineligible for federal aid, you should complete the FAFSA because you may be eligible for nonfederal aid from states and private institutions. If you regain eligibility during the award year, notify your financial aid administrator immediately. If you are convicted of a drug-related offense after you submit the FAFSA, you might lose eligibility for federal student aid, and you might be liable for returning any financial aid you received during a period of ineligibility."