Will a DWI conviction cost you your college financial aid?

Griffin Law, PLLC
Mar 17, 2021

When you are celebrating the end of high school, it may be tempting to have a few beers with your friends. If you drive while impaired, though, you may face severe consequences. These include a possible fine and jail time.

If you must serve time behind bars after a DWI conviction, you may miss out on your first semester of college. A DWI conviction may also violate your school’s code of conduct, potentially exposing you to discipline, such as suspension or even expulsion. Will a DWI conviction cost you your college financial aid, though?

Government-backed financial aid

The federal government offers financial aid to help many students in the Tar Heel State attend college. If you receive government-backed grants, loans or work-study funds, an ordinary DWI conviction is not likely to affect your financial aid. If your DWI also involves a drug-related offense, though, a conviction may trigger an automatic financial aid suspension.

Private scholarships

Many private groups throughout North Carolina offer scholarship money to students who excel in academics or meet other criteria. Like your university, these groups often expect students to follow a code of conduct. If a DWI conviction violates this code, you may lose your private scholarship money.

University programs

At many schools around the country, students receive stipends for working as residential advisors, participating in a leadership programs or joining certain groups. A conviction for a DWI-related offense may render you ineligible to participate in these programs. If that happens, you may no longer receive the funds that accompany them.

Even if you come from a middle-class family, paying for tuition, fees and other academic costs can be difficult. Rather than risking your financial aid due to a DWI conviction, it may make sense to defend yourself aggressively.

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