How Does DWI Affect Higher Education?

Most people know that a DWI conviction affects employment opportunities. Such a conviction may also have a negative impact on education as well. DWI consequences may affect high schoolers attempting to enroll in college, as well as current college students.

In general, DWI has more collateral consequences than most other misdemeanor offenses. In terms of higher education, these consequences could include:

  • Application Denial – Most college applications include more than entrance exams, lengthy essays, and submitting letters of recommendations. These institutions may also request criminal history and arrest information. Any negative information may result in a denial due to the DWI record. In other cases, the school may still consider your application but take the DWI conviction into account.
  • Expulsion or Suspension – Some colleges require enrolled students to report any criminal charges within a certain timeframe. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.
  • Loss of Scholarship and Financial Aid – Many federal student aid programs have rules which bar financial aid to all students with felony DWI convictions. Similarly, some private scholarships have organizational rules which may include scholarship revocation in the event of a DWI conviction. Finally, for a student-athlete, a DWI conviction may result in suspension from games and team activities, and likely dismissal from the team as well.
  • Indirect Consequences – Even if your college does not punish students for DWI convictions, the penalties may still indirectly affect attendance and grades. Attending mandatory drunk driving courses or serving a jail sentence often means missing classes and getting lower grades which threaten student aid eligibility.
  • Future Career Opportunities – A DWI record often impacts the prospect of finding employment after graduation. If a prospective employer runs a background check and discovers your DWI conviction, you may not be eligible for employment there.

College students should be aware of the seriousness of their decisions and actions. In almost all cases, a DWI conviction negatively affects your current education and future career. All high school or college students who face DWI charges should obtain legal representation from a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to protect their rights and futures.

If you have been arrested for a DWI in Wake County or a nearby jurisdiction, contact the experienced Raleigh DWI lawyers at Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh, Attorneys at Law, today. Go online or call us at (919) 887-8040.