A college education is a financial investment in the future, and for many, that means relying on student loans, scholarships and grants to get ahead in life. Consequently, you have to be accepted by a college and have your ducks in a row with your financial aid. When you have a DUI or other drunk driving conviction, both your college application and financial aid can be affected, throwing off your educational and career goals for some time to come.
A DUI can change your financial aid or college plans in more ways than one.
First, a DUI is going to reflect on your college admissions as it can be a big part of whether you are accepted into a program or university. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your conviction, you may be required to explain what happened or you could be immediately passed over for admissions. Campus security is a big deal, and any problems with drugs or alcohol can work against your application. Having an ignition interlock device may be a good thing in that case, as you can show a record of responsible driving that will continue throughout your legal commitment.
When it comes to your financial aid, a DUI can have a direct effect, but only if you are in jail or prison during the time you’re applying for aid. That is, if you’re in jail in for the fall 2016 semester, you won’t qualify for financial aid for that time. Once released from jail (or, if you know your release date), you are no longer restricted and you can fill out your FAFSA and other financial aid paperwork at will.
In states like West Virginia, you can actually have a DUI expunged under certain circumstances.
With a DUI, you never really know what will happen until the dust settles, even when it comes to college and higher education. Instead of risking your future and the lives of others on the road, just play it safe and find a sober ride home.