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How will a DUI affect my college career?

  • Birdsall Obear

It is late at night and you decide to head home from the bar. It's been over an hour since you consumed any alcohol and, at most, you drank three beers throughout the course of the night.

Unfortunately, you get pulled over by the police along the way. The cop notifies you that they are placing you under arrest for suspicion of DUI.

Your heart sinks. Whether you are applying to college or actively enrolled as a student, you are likely wondering how a DUI will impact your educational goals.

There is no straightforward answer. Every case is different and every school has their own policies. However, having a general idea of the possible ways it could affect your future can help you to better understand what you may be up against.

Do I have to report a DUI on a college application?

The common application is a popular way for prospective students to apply to colleges and universities around the nation. In the past, applicants were required to disclose information regarding their criminal histories. 

However, after much protest, the Common App recently announced that they would be "banning the box" and thus remove the requirement. This change will go into effect for 2019-2020 applications.

Keep in mind that this does not mean that you will not be asked to report criminal convictions to schools who do not use the common application.

Will A DUI affect my ability to receive financial aid?

It depends. If you receive federal financial aid, it will likely have no effect.

However, if you receive other financial aid such as aid from your school, private or public company, it might. You may be denied financial aid or risk losing it entirely. Every financial aid company and school is different and you should review each institution's individual policies regarding criminal convictions.

Am I required to notify my school about my DUI?

In some cases, police report DUI arrests to colleges and universities.

In other cases, schools have written policies regarding criminal arrests and convictions in its handbooks. In addition, you may be held to different standards depending on the program for which you are enrolled. Just as above, every school approaches criminal convictions differently.

If you have been arrested with DUI, you may want to speak with a seasoned criminal defense attorney to safeguard your education and future career.

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