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The Importance of Having a Clean Record While in College

May 10, 2014 By: Chad Category: Campus Life

Although most people who go to college take it seriously, there are still those who see it as a time to go wild and do all the things they’ve always wanted to do. They are young adults who are getting a taste of true freedom for the first time in their lives, and they try to take full advantage of it. It’s may be a cliche that’s begun to fall by the wayside, but it still occurs with immature students who don’t know any better. Naturally, this can lead to some serious problems, not the least of which are criminal charges if things get out of hand.

Anybody who has been to college knows how stressful it can be, and it will get much worse for those who suddenly find themselves with a criminal record before they graduate. Most of the reasons for this should be obvious, but here are just a few things that all college students and prospective students should do before they do something stupid at a weekend frat party.

Being Tried as an Adult
As much as some people like to think of college as just an extension of high school with more chances to cause trouble, college students are still adults and will be tried as such if they are ever arrested. This means any DUIs, criminal assaults or acts of vandalism you are convicted for will go on your record. This could not only affect your future as a college student, but it will appear on background checks and could affect your ability to find a job in the future.

Criminal Convictions and Federal Student Aid
For the average person, college in the United States is nearly impossible to pay for without some kind of financial help. Unfortunately, a criminal record could affect your eligibility to receive the federal student aid that you may need to cover the costs of your education. If you are incarcerated, you cannot receive a Pell grant or federal student loans. You may be able to qualify for other forms of aid such as a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) or Federal Work Study (FWS), but receiving these benefits is unlikely. Priority for FSEOGs is given to those who are receiving a Pell grant, and the logistics of completing a Federal Work Study program while in prison will make any kind of work difficult. Many of these restrictions will be lifted once you are released from prison, but your eligibility to receive aid may still be limited if you’ve been convicted of drug-related crimes.

Applying for College when You Have a Criminal Record
The prospect of being accepted to the college of your choice when you’ve been convicted of a crime does sound daunting, but things may not be as bad as they seem. Depending on the school you wish to attend, you may not have to disclose anything about your criminal record. Even if you do, many colleges understand that a criminal record can be misleading. People change, and those who were convicted of a misdemeanor or even a felony in their youth may not be a threat to campus safety. In the end, it’s always best to be truthful when filling out an admissions application and accept that what will be, will be.

As always, if you ever do find yourself on the wrong side of the law and need to post bail, always remember that OK Bail Bonds is the place to go for quick Houston bail bonds. This should be your first step before you start to worry about your educational future, so contact OK Bail Bonds or visit their website if you need more information.


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