Summary: SFA is posting a copy of the final "Drug Worksheet" to help explain question 28 on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Many people have expressed concerns about the new drug law provisions and the difficulty of explaining the requirements. Today SFA is posting a copy of the final "Drug Worksheet" to help explain question 28 on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We developed this version of the worksheet after testing several drafts with three separate focus groups: a group of college student interns, a group of high school students, and a third group of previous offenders.
For help in answering question 28, students who have been convicted for possession or sale of illegal drugs should go to fafsa.ed.gov/q28 or should call 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). Students who complete FAFSA on the Web will be able to use an embedded interactive questionnaire that determines the FASFA answer for them. For paper filers, both the 800 number and the website at fafsa.ed.gov/q28 will also offer interactive formats, which are easy for students to use and which can calculate an eligibility date for a student who may become eligible at a later time.
If a student calls the 800 number, he or she can choose either to use an interactive voice response unit (IVRU) that leads the student through the questions, or can speak with a live operator who will help determine the FAFSA answer based on the student's information. Both the IVRU and the operator will calculate an eligibility date for the student.
A student who visits the q28 website can use a stand-alone interactive questionnaire that uses information entered by the student to determine the proper code to write on the FAFSA and calculate an eligibility date for students who have one. As a further option on the website, we will post a PDF file of the final paper drug worksheet. Most students can use this paper worksheet to determine how to answer the FAFSA question, but students who have been convicted for both possession and sale are instructed to call 1-800-4FED- AID for assistance.
The final drug worksheet titled "Worksheet for Question 28" is now available on Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) on the Bookshelf. It replaces an earlier version of a drug worksheet that was posted briefly on IFAP, which some of you may have seen or received. Please discard any earlier versions of the worksheet because they are no longer accurate.
All worksheet options explain the three codes that a student may use to answer question 28. A code of "1" means that the student is eligible (in regard to drug convictions) for federal student aid for the award year from July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2001. A code of "2" means the student's period of ineligibility will end during the award year, and a code of "3" means the student is ineligible for all of 2000-2001. Students with an answer of "2" or "3" are informed that they may regain eligibility, or regain eligibility sooner, if they complete an acceptable drug rehabilitation program. All worksheet options also define an acceptable drug rehabilitation program.
Students who leave question 28 blank will receive a similar "Worksheet for Question 28" with their Student Aid Report (SAR) and SAR Comment 53. Students who answer "3" (ineligible) will also receive a worksheet and SAR comment 58. Students who answer "2" (will become eligible in the award year) will not receive a worksheet but will receive comment 54 instructing them to notify their financial aid administrator when the period of ineligibility ends.*
We hope this information will help you in assisting your students during the upcoming award year.
General Manager for Students
*Updated as of 12/21/99. Worksheets are mailed with the SAR only for answers of "blank" or "3."