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Will a DUI Affect my College Financial Aid?

Arizona State University Music Building

Flickr user: kevindooley

A single DUI offense should not inhibit your ability to receive financial aid from the government or any higher education institution. Remember that your first DUI offense will not be considered a felony in most cases (unless you seriously injured or killed someone as a result of your drunk driving). Instead, your first DUI offense will often be considered a misdemeanor and should not prevent you from receiving financial aid to attend college.

A repeat offense, however, may muddy the waters. It is quite possible that individual institutions may decide to withhold financial aid for repeat DUI offenders based on the university’s specific rules and regulations. If you’ve had repeat DUI convictions, it would be wise to call the financial aid officer at your college and see what he/she says is that college’s stance on DUIs.

If you find that you no longer apply for financial aid from your university, there is still hope. So long as the conviction is not drug-related, you should still be eligible for student aid from the government.

In order to receive federal grant money, make sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Anyone hoping to receive grant money from the government needs to fill out this form—DUI or not.

It’s also wise to do some research on the different types of federal grants that may be available to you. There is a whole assortment of scholarship resources out there that you may be eligible for. As crazy as it sounds, there are even specific scholarships available for those who have been convicted of a felony and want to attend college.

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to receive a DUI but are still hopeful of a bright future in college and a successful career afterward…fear not! There are plenty of opportunities awaiting you and plenty of grants with your name on them! Just make sure you take a pro-active approach in finding which scholarships are right for you.

This post was intended to provide general information only and is not intended as specific legal advice. You should not rely upon this information alone, but should consult legal counsel regarding the application of the laws and regulations discussed and as applied to your specific case or circumstance.