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How does a DUI conviction affect college financial aid?

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

If you are a college student, you probably have plenty of opportunities to drink alcohol. While there may be nothing inherently wrong with having some beers or cocktails with your friends, driving with a  blood alcohol content above 0.08% may cause you to face serious consequences.

Even though there are many legal consequences for driving under the influence of alcohol, you may also encounter some life-related ones. One of these may be an interruption in your college financial aid.

Federal student aid

To determine if you are eligible for government-backed financial aid, such as grants, loans, or work-study funds, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Luckily, this application does not require you to disclose DUI arrests or convictions.

Unless your DUI charges involve drugs or other serious matters, you probably do not have to worry about losing your federal student aid.

College scholarships

If your college offers you a scholarship, a DUI arrest or conviction may cause you to lose it. That is, many colleges and universities require scholarship recipients to abide by an official code of conduct. If a DUI arrest or conviction violates this code, your scholarship dollars may be on the line.

Educational expenses

Just as you may lose your college scholarship for a DUI-related offense, you may incur additional education-related expenses. Depending on how your school handles arrests and convictions, you may be ineligible to live on campus. Paying for an off-campus apartment and daily commutes may wreak havoc on your tight academic budget.

DUI arrests usually have less serious consequences than convictions. Ultimately, defending yourself aggressively against DUI charges may be an effective way to keep college affordable for you and your family.