For many, college is a fresh start and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Unfortunately, those experiences are not always good, or legal.

What happens when students are caught with illegal substances on campus? 

“There is a violation of student code of conduct, there’s a possibility of three situations: probation, suspension, or expulsion and they can’t come back” said Student Code of Conduct officer BJ Williams. Any time a student breaks the law of the local, state or federal government it is automatically an offense in the TJC student code of conduct. This can be said for almost every other higher education institution.

“There is a protocol of due process. Students can appeal that decision and it [goes] to the discipline appeals committee. The committee can uphold that decision or they can modify it” Williams said. Depending on the severity of the situation, that is how the punishment is ruled.

Too many students do not know or care about the consequences they may face for drug possession on campus or off. TJC campus police has had a few calls about “suspicious smells,” most likely meaning marijuana.

College is a time where people often experiment and break out of their shell, especially if it is their first time away from home. But those harmless experiments can quickly turn into a drug conviction, which can lead to being kicked out of school and losing financial aid.

What happens to Financial Aid with a drug conviction?

Losing Financial Aid can also be a case-by-case consequence.

“There is a question on the FAFSA [application] that asks about conviction. So, if you do have a conviction during the time you are receiving financial aid, and answer ‘yes’, then you are not eligible at that point,” said Director of Financial Aid and Enrollment Support Services Devon Wiggins. “There is not a database that the feds have access to for those convictions. So, we wouldn’t get an immediate notification. It [the conviction] has to go through the FAFSA process,” Wiggins said.

If a student does get removed from the campus, that automatically drops their Financial Aid because they are no longer attending school. However, if the student has a previous drug conviction and do not answer honestly on the FAFSA form, they may still receive that money.

Drug convictions are the only ones to hinder a student from receiving Financial Aid. Any other conviction does not have to be reported on the FAFSA application.


  1. I find it strange that drug convictions are the only ones that can effect financial aid. I do not agree with drug use in any form but, do not think it should be the only disqualifying event for FAFSA. In my opinion, assault should also result in the loss of financial aid.

  2. This is a timely article. There is a lot of change taking place state by state with the consequences of possessing marijuana. Since financial aid is so important to most students, this kind of information is very important.

  3. I think this article does a good job at warning the students at TJC about the consequences of being caught with an illegal substance. I like how it is very blunt about the consequences and how it doesn’t sugarcoat anything.

  4. I found this article very interesting in how it explains the consequences if a student is caught with illegal substances on campus. Also it talks about how you can loose your financial aid and can become a case-by-case consequence.

  5. I do not believe that it is right that you only have to put drug convictions when there are other convictions that are much more costly to our society.

  6. Some students knowingly take the chance to continue their use of illegal drugs while on campus or actively enrolled in college. Getting caught only once can get you thrown out of school. As far as financial aid, if one lied about their past drug conviction, that constitutes falsifying government documents. Which is another criminal offense. I’m glad that TJC enforces these student conduct codes.

  7. I agree with you Teresa Whitaker that other crimes should be included when it comes to not receiving financial aid. But then again if a person has done wrong and wants to begin again and can’t afford a fresh start how will they ever turn their life around if they are not given help? We may not have done or sold drugs but we are all guilty of doing something wrong and have all been in need of a second chance and I thank God for those chances and doors He keeps opening for me. No, I have never sold or done drugs but I am still in need of grace. How about you?

  8. It is sad to see that students still take the risk of smoking illegal substances knowing that there are consequences involved. Hopefully these students will come to a realization that these drugs are not worth the trouble they can get into and take better actions to improve themselves from getting into further trouble.

  9. I find this article to be very informative on the consequences of being caught with any illegal substance on campus. I am glad that TJC enforces these rules.

  10. I believe that it is senseless to throw your education away for a drug conviction. I also agree with Teresa and Jo Ann that all conviction except class c convictions should be used when it comes to financial aid. Jo Ann I also think that we all need grace so maybe they should put a time frame on your last conviction. This would allow someone the chance to turn their lives around.

  11. its good to know that the rules are being enforced because its a place of learning so things like that shouldn’t be around or no where on the campus.


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