The college experience is as much about socialization and networking as it is about academic instruction. The relationships that young adults develop while in college can help them for decades to come in their careers. Some of those relationships will stem from coursework, and others will be the result of extracurricular activities.
Parties play an important role in on-campus socialization. Unfortunately, young adults experimenting with drugs that a college party could end up arrested and facing criminal accusations that will have major implications for their future. Why would pleading guilty to a drug offense be the wrong decision for a college student?
They could lose their enrollment
Different schools have different standards for their students. Some are more forgiving than others. Criminal convictions often result in students going on academic probation. Sometimes, they may even lose their enrollment.
Offenses that happened on campus may be subject to on-campus discipline in addition to any criminal proceedings that occur. Even off-campus offenses can end up causing a disciplinary hearing and costing a student their enrollment.
They could lose their financial aid
It wasn’t that long ago that a single drug conviction would permanently end someone’s eligibility for federal student aid. Thankfully, lawmakers have adjusted that policy to reduce it to a single year of ineligibility.
However, those convicted of drug offenses still have to report that fact when filling out federal student aid applications. Additionally, they will have to disclose their criminal record when applying for private scholarships. Many organizations will decline an application from someone with a criminal conviction or revoke a scholarship granted to someone convicted of a crime.
They will struggle to develop their career
The conviction on a college student’s record won’t just disappear when they graduate. It will continue to affect their opportunities for the rest of their lives in some cases.
Every prospective employer, including companies offering unpaid internships, will typically perform a background check. Those who cannot pass background checks often can’t get the best jobs or have a harder time maximizing their upward mobility and compensation.
Instead of letting your college student learn the hard way about how strict the world is about criminal infractions, you might want to help them overcome this challenge. Helping a youthful offender connect with a criminal defense attorney is one of the most important things a parent can do to limit the lasting consequences of a college drug charge for a young adult.