College can be a time for students to learn about themselves. It is a time to make mistakes within a safe environment and for students to hopefully learn from those mistakes. Despite this prevalent mindset, many students find themselves in trouble with the law after a night out of partying. For those found in alleged possession of drugs or paraphernalia, the impact could have long-lasting consequences for their academic and professional life.
Understand the longstanding repercussions
If a party leads to a drug charge, the repercussions could extend beyond the potential criminal charges. Parents need to understand what a drug charge could mean for a student:
- Job prospects: A conviction for a drug crime will stay on a person’s record. This record will be flagged when a person applies for a job and goes through a background check. This record can negatively affect a young person’s ability to pursue their chosen career, rent certain properties or gain admission to graduate school.
- Student loans: For students who receive federal student aid, a conviction can cause them to lose that aid. The FAFSA forms ask if an applicant has ever had a drug conviction. A conviction affects a student’s eligibility for student aid, limiting their ability to receive FSEOG or FWS funds and assistance.
- College status: Many colleges have zero-tolerance policies when it comes to drug use. If a student is charged with a drug crime, the college or university doesn’t necessarily need a conviction to institute academic probation, suspension or expulsion. For some colleges, this expulsion may be temporary, but others could be permanent.
Let a student fulfill their potential
It’s hard to imagine how a drug charge can affect your child’s life, but it’s essential to take the precautions needed to make sure they have every opportunity to deal with those charges. Those found driving with drug impairment can face the same penalties as a DUI for alcohol and could be facing jail time and license revocation. Make sure you pursue all the options available to your student.