From the University of Virginia to the College of William and Mary, the commonwealth has some excellent places to pursue higher education. Paying for a four-year degree in Virginia, though, can be challenging, as college tuition and fees in the Old Dominion are higher than the national average.
If you are not independently wealthy, you may be looking for financial aid to help you achieve your educational goals. While a conviction for driving under the influence may not affect your entire financial aid package, some of your funds may be at risk.
Government financial aid
The federal government offers grants, loans and work-study funds to many students who meet financial eligibility requirements. While a conviction for possessing or distributing controlled substances often results in a suspension of government-backed financial aid, a basic DUI conviction is not likely to affect your subsidized funds.
Many private organizations award both merit-based and need-based scholarships to deserving students in the commonwealth. If you receive funds from one of these organizations, you should check the organization’s rules to determine how a DUI conviction may affect your scholarship.
University financial assistance
If you have athletic prowess, an impressive grade point average or special skills, your university may offer you a scholarship or stipend. Still, you likely must comply with a code of conduct to qualify for these dollars. If your DUI arrest or conviction violates that code, you may lose your university financial assistance. You may also be vulnerable to academic discipline, such as suspension or even expulsion.
While a DUI arrest is likely to cause you some stress, you may still be able to afford your higher education. Ultimately, though, the steps you take to defend yourself after your arrest may make a considerable difference in your college budget.