Even if you intend never to drink and drive, life often has a way of messing with plans. If officers arrest you on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, you may be vulnerable to jail time, fines and even a loss of your driving privileges. You may also have a more difficult time paying for college.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid determines your eligibility for government-backed grants, loans and work-study funds. While a DUI conviction is not likely to interfere with your eligibility for FAFSA-associated assistance, you may lose other financial aid and incur additional education-related expenses.
Private scholarship money
If you have an excellent grade point average, unique talents or extraordinary athletic abilities, you may be eligible for private scholarship money to help you pay for your higher education. Nevertheless, many scholarship organizations require recipients to abide by codes of conduct. If drunk driving violates an applicable code, the scholarship administrator may revoke your scholarship.
Many colleges pay students to participate in on-campus groups. Like with private scholarship organizations, these groups often expect participants to follow certain rules. If a DUI conviction runs afoul of these rules, you may face expulsion from the group. Expulsion, of course, is likely to cut off your stipend.
If drunk driving violates the codes of conduct of private scholarship organizations and college groups, there is a good chance you may not be eligible for on-campus housing. Paying for an off-campus apartment may be expensive. You may also incur additional commuting costs.
Even though a DUI conviction may change your college budget, you should not give up on your dreams of earning a college degree. Defending yourself diligently against DUI charges, though, may be an effective way to minimize the education-related financial consequences of your arrest.