College students have plenty of opportunities to learn, both inside and outside the classroom. Yet, learning may involve making mistakes, and those made by some students lead to criminal charges. If this has happened to you, you will likely worry about how your charges could affect your academic career. By understanding your potential penalties, you can work to mitigate their effects.
How criminal charges affect academic participation
After receiving criminal charges, your academic penalties will depend on whether your actions violated your school’s code of conduct. This remains true whether the offense occurred on-campus or off-campus. In either case, you will go through a judicial hearing at your school. This hearing will determine whether academic penalties are appropriate for your actions. These could include:
- Loss of academic scholarships
- Loss of campus housing privileges
- Loss of eligibility to participate on school athletic teams
- Loss of leadership roles in student groups
- Academic probation
- Suspension or expulsion
How criminal charges affect federal student aid
If you receive federal student aid, certain criminal offenses could affect your eligibility. Whether you attend a public or private school, you will lose eligibility for federal student loans if your offense leads to incarceration. And if you attend a public school, you will also lose eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant. Yet, these limitations will likely lift once your sentence ends. And you can reapply for federal student aid while still incarcerated.
Keep in mind that certain convictions can carry more serious penalties than others. Even if you avoid incarceration, you could lose your eligibility for federal student aid if you receive a conviction on drug charges. To regain eligibility, you must complete a drug rehabilitation program or pass two unannounced drug tests. Furthermore, if you experience involuntary civil commitment after incarceration for a sexual offense, you will lose eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant.
The consequences that criminal charges carry could have serious effects on your academic career. A criminal defense attorney can help you fight to protect your education.