A criminal conviction is devastating for anybody. But for college students and those just beginning their careers, the effects can be even more severe. Criminal charges alone can create obstacles, but a criminal conviction will limit your future opportunities drastically.
Below are four of the biggest impacts a criminal conviction will have on your future.
Kiss Your Federal Financial Aid Goodbye
The cost of an undergraduate - not to mention graduate - degree is astronomical. Most college students rely on federal financial aid to cover some, if not all, of their schooling costs. Unfortunately, if you are convicted of a drug crime - even a minor possession crime - you can lose your eligibility for federal financial aid. There are other lenders out there, but they do not have the flexibility, security and repayment/loan forgiveness options offered by the federal government.
Applying To Grad School? Good Luck.
Getting into graduate school is increasingly competitive. You need an amazing GPA, great test scores, recommendations and internships/work experience to stand apart. Every graduate application will ask if you've been convicted of a crime, and you have to disclose it. Your criminal record could be the difference between an acceptance letter and a rejection letter.
Getting A Medical License Of Any Kind Will Be Challenging
To work in the medical field as a nurse, physician assistant or doctor you need a medical license. The boards that oversee medical licenses do not look kindly on criminal convictions - especially if they are drug or alcohol-related. That means you could spend years in school getting your degree and then be denied the license you need to practice.
The Glass Ceiling Is A Lot Lower If You Can't Get Certain Security Clearances
The federal government is one of the largest employers in Maryland. Most government jobs require you to have a certain level of security clearance. While a criminal conviction may not prevent you from getting an entry-level job, advancing to positions that require a higher level of clearance may be difficult, if not impossible.