What are the consequences of a drug charge for college students?

You're probably already aware that the consequences of a drug charge conviction can be fairly severe. However, if you're a college student (or a high school student bound for college), the consequences can be beyond anything you ever thought possible -- and it could ruin your life before you even get a chance to get started.

This is what can happen due to a simple drug possession conviction:

  • If you're still in high school, you will likely be suspended. You may also be given a disciplinary transfer to a school that deals with "problem" students.
  • You may lose the recommendation of your guidance counselor or the teachers who know you best. They may even be formally prohibited by the school district from giving you a recommendation -- which is often required for college applications.
  • Your grades may suffer because of the forced transfer. You may not be able to take the same classes or find that the classes you are taking are more advanced than the ones you'd been in at your old school.
  • Your admission to a university or a scholarship can be revoked on a morality clause. Many students don't realize that a university can do such a thing, but it happens often.
  • Whether you are in high school or college, you'll likely be suspended or dismissed from any sports teams. While that could affect your high school transcript and make you less attractive to a prospective college, a college student who is depending on a full or partial athletic scholarship could find himself or herself unable to afford to continue school
  • If you're a college student, your financial aid package is likely to be decimated by a drug conviction. Federal regulations make any student convicted of a drug crime ineligible for federal financial aid. The length of time you're ineligible depends entirely on the type of conviction -- although some students can regain eligibility early if they go through the appropriate treatment program and drug testing.
  • You may lose your ability to live on campus. Some universities are restricting students with criminal records from campus housing -- especially if there's drugs or violence involved.

If you're a high school or college student that's been charged with drug possession or something similar, don't panic -- call an attorney who can help you fight the charges.

Source: U.S. News Education, "Drug Conviction Can Send Financial Aid Up In Smoke," Betsy Mayotte, accessed Aug. 17, 2017

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