There is a common misconception that DUI only impacts those who work for a living. The little-known truth is a DUI conviction also has the potential to ruin one’s educational endeavors. If you rely on financial aid to pay your tuition and/or room and board, a DUI conviction will put this important financial support in jeopardy.
DUI and Financial Aid
When applying for financial aid to cover the cost of college tuition, one must fill out the FAFSA. This acronym is short for Free Application for Federal Student tAid. Though the FAFSA does not inquire about DUI convictions, it asks applicants about drug convictions. If you are found guilty of DUI yet no drugs were involved, you will likely retain your financial aid.
However, if you were caught driving drunk and had drugs in the vehicle, there is a good chance you will lose your financial aid. Drivers can be charged with both DUI and drug possession. Plenty of those who take the risk of drinking while driving also use drugs. In many cases, these drivers have drugs in their possession when pulled over for DUI. Thankfully, convictions that are removed from your permanent record or convictions that occurred before the age of 18 typically do not count.
Colleges Care About DUIs
Plenty of colleges mandate applicants list their arrests and criminal convictions on the application for acceptance. DUI offenses must be admitted during this line of inquiry. Sadly, a single DUI conviction has the potential to result in denial of admission. Multiple DUIs will likely prevent admission to the vast majority of colleges and universities. However, some colleges are willing to admit those with a single DUI conviction if they agree to completing or have already completed an alcohol counseling program. Fail to disclose your DUI on your college application and you might be denied admission on the grounds of falsifying your application based on the university’s nuanced admission policy.
When it comes to DUIs, there is no overarching rule or guideline that pertains to all universities. Each college or university sets policies that determine the impact of a DUI conviction or arrest before and after admission. Certain colleges will require students to report any type of arrest to the administration in a specific time frame. The failure to report this information has the potential to result in a suspension. Those arrested several times for drunk driving will likely be either temporarily or permanently suspended from attending classes even though they have already been admitted to the academic institution. Unfortunately any type of suspension has the potential to impact financial aid eligibility.
A DUI Conviction can Preclude Eligibility for Scholarships
A DUI conviction has the potential to affect eligibility for financial aid in a variety of ways. Federal financial aid can be withheld from those with felony DUI convictions. Just as important is the fact that those convicted of DUI will not be eligible for many private scholarships and financial aid programs. The nuanced requirements for such private financial assistance are dependent on the rules established by the organization in charge of the lending/scholarship program. Some such organizations are primarily concerned with an applicant’s felony convictions. Others will inquire as to whether the applicant has been arrested or convicted of any type of offense, be it a DUI or something else entirely different. The moral of this story is students seeking any form of financial assistance to obtain a college degree should know a DUI arrest has the potential to prevent them from obtaining the money necessary to cover the cost of post-secondary education.
Charged With DUI? Obtain Legal Assistance Without Delay
If you would like to earn a college degree and/or are in need of financial aid, a DUI conviction has the potential to derail your plans. Do not enter a plea without consulting with our legal team. Your plea can have a considerable impact on your financial aid eligibility. Reach out to us today so we can review your case and determine the appropriate legal strategy to safeguard your education, financial aid and ultimately, your life chances.
These materials have been prepared by Cohen Seglias for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.