PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATOR
USING THE PHONE SCRIPT BELOW! HELP REPEAL THE HIGHER EDUCATION
ACT DRUG PROVISION!
SAMPLE PHONE SCRIPT:
When calling your legislators, you might find the following
sample script helpful:
Hi, my name is __________, and I'm calling from ___________.
The reason I'm calling is to encourage Senator ______ to
take the lead in repealing a law which denies financial
aid to students with drug convictions. On March 9, 2005,
H.R. 1184 was introduced to the House and has the support
of 64 members of Congress. If enacted, it will repeal the
Higher Education Drug Provsion. However, no similar bill
has been introduced in the Senate.
This law was passed as a rider provision during the last
reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in 1998. The
unfortunate irony is that this is the same law intended
to open up educational opportunities to students from low-
and middle-income families. Since this law was enacted,
over 160,500 students have been ineligible for aid as a
result of their answer to the question about drug convictions
on the FAFSA.
Once again, I'd like to strongly urge Sen. ______ to work
to ensure that the drug provision is fully repealed.
Added in 1998 as an amendment to the Higher Education Act
(HEA), the "Drug Provision" (section 484(r), or
20 USC 1091(r)) excludes students with drug convictions
from receiving federal financial aid to attend institutions
of higher learning. The provision has had the effect of
disqualifying a large number of deserving, low- to middle-income
students from receiving federal aid to attend college for
what are often relatively minor drug offenses, including
misdemeanor possession of marijuana. Since the drug provision
took effect in 2000, over 160,500 students have been denied
KEEP US INFORMED:
When you send your letters or faxes, please send us a copy.
In addition, when you receive a response, please pass this
along to us, as it is most helpful to gauge legislators'
positions by their responses to your letters, faxes, and
personal meetings. This helps us to be more effective in
our advocacy by tailoring our message to their individual
for much more information and resources for getting involved
in the campaign. For suggestions on talking points or strategy,
contact David Guard at [email protected],
or (202) 293-8340.
If you are a student attending school in your legislator's district or state, mention that at the beginning of the call.
If you are a constituent calling from outside the district
or state, say where you're from and not
where you are.
If, in the unlikely event the staffer asks, you can cite the drug provision as section 484(r) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, or Title 20, section 1091(r) of the US Code.
Please help students with drug convictions regain their
federal financial aid and be able to better themselves through
college education. More than 100 student governments nationwide
have called for repeal of the drug provision in full. With
Congress considering the Higher Education Act for reauthorization
this fall, it's important to gain early support for full
repeal as soon as possible. Support from Republicans in
both the House and Senate will be necessary to repeal the