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Can an underage DWI affect your college plans?

As you approach the last semester of your final year of high school, you may be looking forward to attending your dream college. After all, not only does a college education improve your future employment prospects, but it also affords a tremendous opportunity to meet lifelong friends. If you drink and drive, though, your college dreams may turn into a nightmare. 

Everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, some mistakes have lasting consequences. If you are facing underage DWI charges, defending yourself aggressively may improve your situation. Nonetheless, you should realize how a DWI arrest may affect your future college plans. 

Applying for financial aid 

By itself, a DWI typically does not interfere with the FAFSA. As such, provided you qualify, you can probably receive government-backed loans or grants. You may have trouble with other types of financial assistance, though. For example, many scholarship programs require winners to have a clean criminal background. 

Living on campus 

Part of the collegiate experience is living in the dorms. To secure residential housing at most universities, however, you must pass a background check. Furthermore, you must comply with a code of conduct. Talking to the housing director at your chosen school can help you determine whether a DWI conviction requires you to look for off-campus housing. 

Competing for special programs 

Social groups, honor societies, leadership programs and other extracurricular activities help you become a more-rounded person while padding your resume. If you plan to participate in any outside events, your criminal history may be troublesome. Additionally, if you have to complete a rehabilitation program or perform community service after your DWI arrest, you may not have much time for special programs. 

Even though you may want to party with your high school friends in the last few months of your senior year, you must be careful never to drink and drive. If you do, you may experience educational consequences that follow you for years. Or, you may miss out on much of the college experience altogether.

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