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Can drug charges affect my college education?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2021 | Penn State, State College

Drug charges can come with considerable consequences depending on the nature of the charges and if it is a state or federal crime. While the government has its own consequences for drug crimes, can a drug conviction also affect your college education?

A conviction can impact how much assistance the government will provide you with to attend college, but what are other indirect consequences of a drug conviction?

How a college can respond to a conviction

Just because the government applies their own sentence for a drug conviction, it doesn’t mean that the college cannot also appoint their own sanctions against the offending student. A student who receives a drug conviction faces the consequences from the college, including:

  • Judicial probation
  • Temporary or permanent denial of dormitory access
  • Temporary or permanent loss of scholarships
  • Temporary or permanent expulsion

Some colleges are more lenient towards partying behavior than others, resulting in them offering less severe consequences toward their students. College staff catching a student smoking marijuana in a dorm room, for example, could result in one college kicking the student out of the dorms. In contrast, another college could expel them permanently.

It is not worth the risk

A criminal conviction can cause you to lose the scholarships and grants you need to attend college in the first place. If you can still attend college after losing government assistance, the college themselves may decide to limit or eliminate your college eligibility.

Some colleges may provide students with a written policy on how they will respond to drug abuse on campus or by their students, while others may decide how to react on a case-to-case basis. Regardless of how your college responds to drug crimes, the best way to protect your education and your future is to avoid using illegal drugs entirely during college.


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