The Effects of a DUI Conviction on Scholarship and Financial Aid Opportunities

If a student receives a DUI conviction it may have negative consequences on their financial aid and scholarships.

Many students have come to rely on scholarships and financial aid to make college more affordable as the cost of tuition skyrockets each year. However, nothing can ruin all the hard work that goes into securing scholarships and financial aid like a DUI conviction. McClintock Law understands that mistakes happen, and that’s why in this article we want to review how a DUI can affect your financial aid. 

Key Takeaways:

If a student ever receives a DUI conviction then they may face negative consequences that can affect their financial aid and scholarships. 

  1. College Background Check: Recently more colleges and universities have been doing background checks on their students, which means they will know if a potential student has a DUI conviction. 
  2. Federal Student Aid: This can be affected by a DUI conviction if drugs were related because all drug convictions must be reported when filling out a FAFSA. 
  3. Merit-Based Scholarships: The effects that a DUI conviction has on merit-based scholarships depend on the sponsor and the requirements that they have for the student. 
  4. Hire a Reputable Lawyer: When an individual hires a trustworthy lawyer, it is their best defense against losing any financial aid or scholarships that can come from a DUI conviction.

Do Colleges Do Background Checks?

It is not uncommon for colleges to perform a background check on incoming students. Naturally, we understand that arrests and convictions have legal consequences. However, it is important to note that non-legal ramifications can follow an individual over time; such as in job or college applications. Will this happen at the college or university of your choice? Likely. Roughly 66% of all colleges and universities now include background checks in the admissions process. These checks may find any DUI or DUI-related incidents in your history. Some academic institutions may turn away a prospective student if a DUI conviction is found in their criminal record. That’s why it is important that incoming students not have any DUI convictions on their criminal record. Don’t risk rejection from your dream college! When facing a DUI conviction hire a lawyer who can protect your future. 

Will I Lose Federal Student Aid If I Am Convicted of a DUI?

In some instances, having a DUI conviction can affect a student’s ability to receive financial aid. Each year, college students are required to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This form is a tool used to determine if a student meets the requirements for financial aid. This formula is used by both colleges and federal student loan options to determine how much the student receives, what type of aid, and payback requirements. For most students, the FAFSA is an incredibly important step towards making college affordable. 

While the FAFSA never explicitly asks if a student has received a DUI conviction, it does ask if they have received any drug-related charges. How could drugs and DUIs show up on the FAFSA? Well, imagine if a student was caught driving while under the influence of drugs and received a DUI conviction. This information may now be revealed in FAFSA records causing the applicant to risk financial aid. If a DUI conviction is not drug-related it is unlikely that information will be included on the FAFSA. In either case, driving while under the influence, especially for underage drivers, can have serious repercussions. This is why a quality lawyer is an important investment for securing a hopeful future. 

Could I Lose My Merit-Based Scholarship?

Would a DUI conviction hurt a student’s chance of earning a merit-based scholarship? Merit-Based Scholarships are private awards given at the discretion of the university or a private donor. This means that applicants must fulfill the requirements set forth by these organizations. Merit-based scholarships are often highly competitive and are based on good citizenship or moral ethics. It is common for these types of awards to be offered to students under competitive circumstances. The quality of candidates interested in a merit-based scholarship is excessive often touting participation in extracurricular activities, high GPAs, and positive reputations in the community. 

If a student has a DUI conviction, it may make them less appealing to the organizations that provide the scholarships. The university or private donor will be more likely to pass over a student with a DUI conviction and give the scholarship to an applicant with a clean record. It may not seem fair but it is how many merit-based scholarships work.

If a student receives a DUI conviction after they have already received a merit-based scholarship, the consequences could differ depending on the sponsor. While many sponsors will let the student keep their scholarships, some organizations may decide to no longer provide their scholarships to the student. That’s why it’s important for the student to be informed about their sponsor’s requirements and expectations. Merit-based scholarships are an important way for students to help pay for their college education, and a DUI conviction can risk losing the award. 

Why Should I Hire a DUI Lawyer?

While students are facing a DUI charge, they should hire a credible and reputable DUI lawyer to help them combat the charge. Hiring a lawyer who cares about your future means you can count on your representation to protect your future. At McClintock Law, we understand that one bad decision does not define a person, and that’s we’re dedicated to helping people fight DUI charges. College is the next big step in so many students’ lives, and we want to ensure that they are able to achieve their dreams. Don’t face a DUI conviction alone. We are here to help. Call now for a free consultation at (309)715-7181 or visit our website

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