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DUIs and student financial aid

Posted on February 19, 2022

Like many other college students on winter or spring break, you probably want to let loose and enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two. However, if you make the mistake of getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, you could face serious consequences, including an injury or arrest.

If you rely on loans or scholarships to support your education, make sure you understand how a DUI can impact your access to those funds.

Will I lose my federal student aid after a DUI conviction?

An arrest or conviction for driving under the influence will not affect your eligibility for federal student aid. You do not need to report such offenses on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

There are some circumstances where you may have to wait for financial aid. In Colorado, a conviction for driving while intoxicated can lead to incarceration, particularly if you have prior offenses. If you must serve time, you cannot receive federal student loans or grants until after your release. However, you can apply while still serving your sentence and ensure that your funds are ready for you.

Can I lose private scholarships and loans?

While a DUI will not prevent your eligibility for federal student loans, private lenders and scholarship providers may choose to revoke current funding or deny future financial aid, depending on the agreement between you and the provider.

A DUI can have far-reaching effects beyond your financial aid. Avoid these consequences altogether by always making sure you have a safe plan to get home before you start drinking.