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How DUIs Affect College Admission

College Admission and DUI: What You Should Know

Being accepted into a college or university can be a challenge – in addition to submitting an application, essays, and other materials, these higher education institutions often ask for information regarding the student’s criminal history and arrest record (should he or she have one). Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests and convictions are something that colleges and universities take very seriously, and in some cases, having this on a student’s criminal record could mean he or she is denied admission.

Types of DUI Convictions

There are two types of DUI convictions that can appear on an individual’s criminal record – misdemeanor and felony. Many first time DUI convictions are considered misdemeanors, but these convictions can be considered felonies based on a few additional factors. A DUI conviction can be increased to a felony should the offender have a high Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) upon arrest, if the incident resulted in injury or death, or if the offender has previous convictions.

DUI Convictions and College Applications

Regardless of if the student’s DUI conviction was considered a misdemeanor or felony, having that mark on one’s criminal record can have a long-lasting effect. Even though reporting a DUI conviction may result in the student being denied admission, it is important to make sure to provide the required information about the criminal record when it is requested. In most cases, a DUI offense does not bar students from being accepted into college, especially if they have shown a desire to change their attitude and their habits regarding drinking and driving.

Conversely, being dishonest about DUI convictions and other criminal record information will more than likely be grounds for the student not being accepted – in these cases, the student’s denial of the incident will have greater impact on his or her admission to the college or university than the incident itself.

DUI Convictions and Financing College Expenses

While getting into a college or university may be one stressor, students have other stressors as well including how they are going to fund their education. Believe it or not, financial aid for college expenses can also be negatively impacted when a student has a DUI conviction. A felony DUI conviction in particular may be one reason that many financial institutions deny assistance to students. Additionally, a DUI conviction could mean the loss of scholarships and other financial aid.

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