Can a DUI Hurt My College Education?

If you’re planning on attending a college or university, you may be wondering if a DUI arrest or conviction could get in the way of those plans, and it can. Generally, if you're arrested or convicted of DUI, it can affect your educational opportunities for the worse.

Colleges typically require that applicants disclose criminal arrests or convictions on their application, and this can include misdemeanor or felony DUI. If you have more than one DUI, or if you have a felony DUI on your record, a university may not approve your application.

However, if you have only one DUI conviction and there were no aggravating circumstances: for instance, no one was hurt, the school may accept you providing you complete a drug and alcohol counseling program.

Some schools won’t deny a student because they had a DUI arrest or conviction, but they will send the student packing if they fail to disclose the arrest or conviction when they apply to the school. It all depends on the individual school’s policies regarding criminal arrests and convictions.

If you are arrested for DUI after you’ve been admitted to the school, our advice is to check the school’s policies to see if you are required to report the arrest to the administration. Be forewarned: sometimes you have to report all arrests within a set number of days.

Failure to Report a DUI

Often, it’s not the DUI itself that leads to suspension from a school, but it’s the failure to report that lands the student in trouble. If you have multiple DUI arrests while attending a college, the school may ask you to leave because keeping you would violate its policies. And, even if you’re temporarily suspended, it could adversely affect your financial aid. Why? Because, your grades could drop because you’re not allowed in class or due to the school’s policy.

Financial Aid Can Be Lost Due to DUI

A DUI can affect your eligibility for financial aid. For example, many federal programs won’t provide financial aid to students with felony DUI convictions. As far as private financial aid or scholarships, you’ll have to learn about their rules and procedures; some of these private programs are only concerned about felony convictions.

What if you’re trying to get a scholarship? If you’re applying for a scholarship with a DUI on your record – that DUI conviction may tip the scales and not in your favor.

Related: 8 Things You Don’t Know About DUI

If you’re concerned about how your DUI will affect your future, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for help!

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