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Pell Grant forces students to sign drug-free pledge

By Brian Rosenberg

Beginning this year, Pell Grant recipients must certify that they are drug-free. Additionally, institutions participating in other federal aid programs must certify that they maintain a drug-free workplace.

These requirements result from the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, which went into effect on March 18 this year. Students receiving grants from that date onwards must "certify that, as a condition of my Pell Grant, I will not engage in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance during the period covered by my Pell Grant."

If a Pell Grant recipient is "convicted of drug distribution, or possession, the court may suspend" his or her eligibility. After three convictions for drug distribution, a recipient "may become permanently ineligible" to receive federal financial aid.

MIT's Financial Aid Office has had no problems with the law, according to Stanley G. Hudson, associate director of the FAO. "We are responsible for making sure students sign the certification," he said.