Facing criminal charges is a scary situation given the potential consequences of a conviction. For college students, there is more at stake than just jail time.
Being accused of a crime could affect a student’s scholarship status and ability to graduate.
Common criminal charges on college campuses
While anyone can commit a crime, several crimes commonly occur on college campuses and in a younger demographic. College-age students often find themselves facing drug or intoxication charges after weekend parties, but some of the more serious crimes reported on college campuses include sexual or domestic violence and abuse, burglary and theft. The nature of the crime and the charges filed determine the severity of the consequences, with felonies carrying the more serious sentences.
Consequences of crime
In addition to the consequences outlined by local, state or federal laws, college students convicted of a crime could also face administrative actions taken by the college or university. In many cases, institutions establish a student code of conduct and provide each student with a copy at the beginning of each semester. These outline the actions taken if a student commits a crime. Students typically face suspension or expulsion for serious crimes and lose their scholarship status, housing benefits or positions within clubs or teams.
Those convicted of a drug offense lose access to federal financial aid. Any drug-related offense, whether a felony or misdemeanor, disqualifies individuals from applying for federal grants or loans.
Each school maintains a unique policy on criminal records or charges. Consequences can lead to the loss of need or merit-based scholarships, a barrier that can make it harder to afford college.