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A first-time DUI may complicate your child’s college budget

When you attended college, you may not have thought much about tuition and fees. If you are planning to send your son or daughter to school, though, you undoubtedly understand how challenging paying for a college degree can be nowadays. After all, the average cost of tuition and fees at public universities has increased by more than 200% in just the last two decades.

If your son or daughter intends to take advantage of government-backed financial aid, private scholarships or educational stipends, you may worry about how a first-time DUI conviction may affect your child’s college budget.

Government-backed aid

Your son or daughter probably does not have to disclose a simple DUI conviction when completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Consequently, he or she may remain eligible for government-backed loans, grants and work-study funds.

However, a drug conviction during the award period is likely to trigger an immediate suspension of federal financial aid. For a first-time possession conviction, the suspension is usually one year. A first-time conviction for distributing a controlled substance results in a two-year suspension. In the event of a suspension, your student may be able to restore their eligibility by either completing a drug rehabilitation program or passing two consecutive drug tests.

Private scholarship dollars

If you have an extraordinary child, he or she may be eligible for private scholarship dollars. To determine if a DUI arrest or conviction is likely to jeopardize these funds, you must review the rules of the scholarship program. Sometimes, drunk driving violates these rules.

Educational stipends

Your son or daughter may want to work as a resident advisor or lead an on-campus group. While many universities pay stipends to students in these roles, a DUI arrest or conviction may breach the school’s code of conduct. If so, educational stipends may come to an end.

Pursuing a bachelor’s degree may help the young one in your family move on after a DUI arrest. If he or she is struggling to stick to a tight educational budget, though, fighting DUI charges may keep your child’s financial aid package intact.