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How can a drug offense affect a college student?

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2024 | Drug Charges |

Young adults do a lot of their personal growth during their college years. They learn in class how to better understand the world around them. They also learn more about human relationships through trial and error as they begin establishing an independent lifestyle.

Many young adults have their first real romantic experiences at college. They may also start experimenting with drugs and alcohol when they move out of their parents’ homes. Unfortunately, some college students end up arrested because of the choices that they make while pursuing an education.

Drug charges are among the most common allegations brought against students enrolled in institutions of higher learning. Despite being common, they can potentially detail a young adult’s future plans. What impact can drug charges have on college students?

Drug charges can affect enrollment

The more prestigious an educational institution is, the higher its standards for enrollment likely are. It is quite common for universities and colleges to have zero-tolerance policies for criminal records and convictions during enrollment. If someone pleads guilty, even to an offense that occurred off campus, they may face on-campus discipline. School disciplinary policies may lead to the end of someone’s enrollment. Other times, they may end up on academic probation and could be vulnerable for several semesters after a conviction.

Drug charges can affect financial aid

Not that long ago, a drug offense made someone permanently ineligible for federal student aid. Reform has limited those consequences. Drug convictions no longer cut people off from federal student aid resources. However, they can still affect private scholarships. Most colleges that offer financial aid and private scholarship organizations have clear rules prohibiting criminal convictions while receiving financial aid. Those applying for new financial aid or renewing an existing award could lose opportunities and funding because of a drug conviction.

The best outcome for a student accused of inappropriate substance use often requires mounting a rigorous criminal defense to those charges. Avoiding a drug conviction can help a young adult learn from a mistake and grow up to make a positive impact on their community. College students and parents aware of the negative effects drug charges can have on a college education can use that information to respond to a recent arrest in informed ways.