College is a time of learning and personal growth. Many college students change their majors or career plans as they develop better knowledge of the world around them. Other college students will experience hardship that results in them dropping out, meaning a future saddled with student loans but no degree to show for all of that money.
Unfortunately, many students drop out of college not because they couldn’t handle the academic work or failed to see the long-term benefits but because they no longer qualify for enrollment. Getting arrested during college can be hard enough, as it could mean missing classes, but getting convicted of a criminal offense or pleading guilty while still in college will mean potentially life-altering consequences for the college students, including an end to their academic pursuits.
What are some of the extra consequences that make criminal charges more concerning for college students?
The school likely has a code of conduct for students
While most college applicants worry more about their test scores and grade point averages than their criminal backgrounds, there is no question that your criminal record also influences your college admission chances.
Someone with a criminal record may have a harder time gaining admittance to the school of their choice or a graduate program. Even after enrollment, a criminal conviction could make someone ineligible to maintain enrollment at their chosen school.
A criminal record affects student aid as well
A student’s access to the school facilities won’t be the only concern after a criminal conviction. Many scholarships and financial aid programs also have rules regarding criminal behavior and convictions for applicants and recipients.
Students recently convicted of an offense may lose their financial aid. Even if they do not, they may find themselves ineligible for other scholarships or to renew their existing aid in the future. Hiding an offense on an application will likely mean that the organization offering the scholarship won’t consider you once they discover the falsehood.
A criminal record can undermine the benefit of a college degree
The reason people go to college is to get better jobs and command better wages, but unfortunately, a criminal record can easily negate the employment and income benefits possible with a college degree. The more serious the charge is, the more likely it is to continue to affect a college student’s future for years after they finish their education by limiting what jobs they can secure.
If your college student faces assault accusations or drug charges because of a party, defending against those charges could help protect their future.