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?
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.
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.
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.
An arrest and conviction can change everything. Fines or time in jail are the immediate concern, but a conviction will also mean a criminal record that can make it harder to find a job and housing for years to come. If you are arrested or learn you are under investigation, the first thing you should do is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. You can search LawInfo’s legal directory to find a local criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights, lay out your options, and help you determine the best way to proceed with mounting a defense and limiting potential penalties.