Even with the knowledge that it's not safe to drink and drive, some estimates show that over 3 million college students drive while intoxicated every year. A DUI can have a profoundly negative impact on a person's life. It may be more difficult to get certain jobs. You also need to consider your overall reputation because a DUI conviction will show up on any background checks as part of your permanent criminal record.
For college students, there is also one consequence that could be catastrophic: losing scholarships.
How does a DUI affect scholarships?
Many scholarships, especially those provided by the federal government, have various provisions stating the financial aid will be null and void if the student breaks a rule. For most students, the main rule to follow is simply keeping grades up. However, there may also be rules stating that if the student faces disciplinary action, especially because of a crime (like DUI), then the scholarship will automatically cease.
Additionally, the college itself may have rules in place concerning students who receive DUIs. If a student faces suspension, even for one semester, then the scholarship may no longer be available when the student returns.
Is there any way to protect a scholarship following a DUI?
Ideally, you will avoid driving after consuming alcohol. However, if you wind up with a DUI conviction, even if it did not result in jail time, then there are steps you can take to protect your record.
For starters, you can enter an alcohol rehabilitation program. You may face a mandate from the court to attend one of these programs, but even if you do not, it is still good to sign up. In the event you cannot retain a scholarship, then you can look into other forms of financial aid. Loans and grants from the government can help, but a scholarship you do not have to repay is worth hanging onto at all costs.