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Can You Go to College with a Felony?

You have a criminal record. You’re also filling out a college application, trying to move forward with your life. Is that record going to keep you from being accepted?

The School’s Choice

There is no law governing whether or not those with felony records — or minor criminal records — can go to college. Technically speaking, you’re absolutely still allowed to apply and it’s legal for you to attend.

What this means is that the choice is often up to the school. Studies have found that the majority of schools — as many as 60 percent, per one report — look at criminal records. They get more applicants than they have spots, in many cases. You may be denied based on your record. If they have to cut someone, those with a record could be more likely to be denied.

That being said, a lot of schools look at this on a case-by-case basis. They don’t formally have restrictions in place, such as saying that no one with a felony can get in. So, while it may become more challenging to find a school that will accept you, it’s definitely possible.

Financial Aid

Here’s the big kicker: If you’re thinking of asking the government for financial aid, you can be denied based on your record. The main thing the government cracks down on is drug charges. You can’t get their financial aid with felony drug convictions or misdemeanor convictions.

Again, this doesn’t mean you can’t go to school. There are other ways to get loans. You may be doing well financially and not need loans. However, as with the application process, your criminal record can make it harder.

Arrests and Colleges

It’s important to keep all of this in mind when facing criminal charges. Be sure that you know all the ways a conviction could impact your plans for the future.

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