That DUI and Your College Plans

Your DUI isn't a college admissions dealbreakerGetting into college depends on a lot of factors. SAT and ACT scores, grade point averages, essays and the normal college application requirements become a huge focus for high school seniors, and even for those going back to school for a mid-life career change. One thing that most people don’t consider in their college application process is that outside of academic performance, a criminal record could affect an admissions decision by a college or university, even if that criminal act was “only” a DUI.

A first-time DUI can be explained as a mistake or a one-time bad choice. If your conviction is brought up, be sure to make it clear that you understand the bad decision that was made, and that you can show remorse and that you fulfilled all court requirements.  If you had a community service or ignition interlock device requirement, you can even use those as examples of how your experience taught you important life lessons.

It is more difficult for a DUI offender with multiple convictions, or a felony DUI, to explain it all away as a mistake. That does not mean that you have no chance for acceptance into college. Just like with a first-offense DUI, your best bet is to be honest, clarify (if asked) how you since made better choices, and show how motivated you are to move ahead in life… and that getting into college is a big part of that plan.

Getting into college is difficult enough. When you are carrying a drunk driving charge around, it can be even harder. However, that DUI does not have to be a factor in your college admissions plan or application, especially if you treat it as a learning experience and have the proof to back up all that you’ve learned since then.

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