Two Ways A DUI Can Affect Your Educational Prospects
When people think about the criminal consequences of being convicted of DUIs, they're mostly concerned about being sentenced to jail time or having to pay a fine. However, being convicted of a DUI can and does often extend to other areas of your life. If you're a college student or thinking about going back to school, here are two ways a DUI can negatively impact your educational prospects.
Your Application May Be Rejected
In addition to grades and aptitude test scores, more and more colleges and universities are factoring in student's criminal pasts when determining whether applicants qualify for admission. The primary reason for this is campus safety. Although sexual assault has been the dominant topic of conversation over the past few years, schools also want to avoid admitting people who may pose a threat in other ways, such as being previously convicted of assault (which could indicate a propensity for violence) or making terroristic threats (which could indicate the potential for mass shooting).
Whether a DUI will disqualify you from consideration will depend on the circumstances of your case and the school. If you received the DUI as a result of underage drinking, the school may decline your application if you aren't 21 for fear you'll engage in the same behavior on campus. More prestigious schools may reject your application for having a criminal record at all to avoid the potential scandal that may occur if you are caught doing something illegal while enrolled.
A third thing that could happen is you may be denied admittance into certain degree programs because you're unable to pass the required background check. This can happen if you're applying for a program where you'll have access to pharmaceutical drugs (e.g. medicine).
Your Funding May Be Cut Off
Another consequence of being convicted of DUI is you may lose your college funding. The US Department of Education prohibits students convicted of drug-related misdemeanors and felonies from collecting federal aid for a period of time after their convictions. However, this generally only applies if you were convicted while receiving financial aid or you are currently incarcerated for the crime. You won't receive any money during the suspension period and you may be required to return any money you did get during the time period the crime occurred.
Additionally, some scholarships from private organizations require recipients to maintain clean records. A DUI conviction may jeopardize this money too. It's best to consult the relevant paperwork to determine if this is the case with your funding sources.
For more information about these issues or help defending a DUI case, contact a criminal defense attorney.