Teenagers are notorious for their ability to rush into questionable decisions without considering all of the consequences. While their bodies are close to fully mature, their brains still have a long way to go, which is why teenagers often don’t consider the implications of their decisions.
For example, they might think that it’s okay to try a drug at a party with friends over the summer because everybody else there has already tried it. There are many dangers involved with experimenting with drugs, ranging from overdoses to contaminated drugs.
However, for many young adults, the most dangerous thing they can do with a drug is get caught with it, especially if they have college hopes. There are three ways that a drug offense could affect a young adult hoping to go to college.
1) Drug offenses will impact their student aid options
Lawmakers have adjusted the rules for student aid and criminal convictions. Not long ago, drug offenses might result in the permanent ineligibility of an individual to qualify for federal student aid like grants, scholarship programs and even subsidized loans.
While students with drug convictions can possibly qualify for federal student aid if they comply with certain requirements, that conviction could delay their access to student aid or even force them to repay aid received right before or after the alleged offense.
2) A conviction will impact their enrollment
Getting arrested and then convicted of a drug offense will likely affect the ability of a young adult to enroll at an educational institution. Many colleges have policies about recent convictions or even specific defenses.
Not only may colleges and universities decline the application of new students with such blemishes on their background, but they might also pursue disciplinary action against an enrolled student who gets convicted while attending college.
3) A conviction could affect employment or work-study opportunities
Not everyone going through college spends every day studying for four or more years. Many students enrolled in college can only attend because they also work at the same time. Others may participate in work-study programs, internships or apprenticeships as part of their education. The companies that offer such opportunities or that hire college students will likely perform background checks and may decline the applications of those with criminal records.
Although a drug possession offense may seem like a minor charge, it can have a lasting effect if the person accused is a minor. Helping your teen fight those charges will give them more opportunities for their education in the future.