Criminal charges should never be taken lightly. Even if the charge and resulting penalties seem relatively mild, a criminal charge can turn into something much more serious. If you’re convicted of a crime, you will have a criminal record, and that can impact your life in countless ways long after any immediate penalties are seen to.
Criminal convictions have specific negative effects when it comes to higher education. If you’re a student or hoping to pursue more education in the future, a crime on your record can have many life-altering repercussions you might not have considered.
Keep reading to understand some of the ways a criminal record can impact your higher education, and what you can do about it:
- A criminal record can impact your ability to get into certain schools. According to Criminal Watchdog, one study shows that 66.4% of colleges collect criminal background information on at least some of their applicants. Depending on your criminal history, you may or may not have a strong chance of getting into college. Violent crimes and sexual offenses are the types of crimes that are likely to prevent a felon from being accepted by a college, says U.S. News.
- A criminal record can make it harder or impossible to enroll in certain courses, programs, and degrees. Depending on your conviction, you might not be able to enroll in programs that prepare you for jobs working with children, vulnerable adults, and other groups. Even if you can enroll, sometimes a criminal record will prevent you from later entering certain job fields.
- A criminal record can impact your chances of qualifying for financial aid, grants, and scholarships, and your ability to take out student loans. According to Federal Student Aid, you cannot qualify for a Federal Pell Grant if you are in a state or federal institution. Even after your release, Federal Student Aid says it can be difficult to qualify for benefits such as student loans and federal grants if your crime falls into certain categories, including sexual and drug-related crimes. Federal Student Aid also says that in most cases you will not be able to get federal student aid once on probation or parole if your offenses were sexual or drug-related. Private student loans can be hard to acquire if you’ve been convicted of a crime – including a less severe misdemeanor.
- A criminal record can make it difficult or impossible to qualify for student housing. A criminal record can complicate your ability to qualify for student housing and can lead to applications getting immediately rejected.
- A criminal record can impact the kind of job, salary, and work experience you will have after graduation. According to Online Paralegal, students with criminal histories may face barriers in completing internships, teaching hours or laboratory work. This particularly impacts medical and nursing graduate programs that require supervised clinical hours. Students with criminal convictions need to be wary of professional programs that accept students with criminal backgrounds even if those students won’t be able to join the profession. Students should keep in mind that admission to an advanced education program doesn’t guarantee acceptance into the corresponding profession. Some career paths will be closed to people convicted of felonies or misdemeanor offenses. For example, attorneys are required to pass a character and fitness assessment before becoming licensed, the National Jurist reminds prospective students. Some criminal offenses, such as a violent crime, may prevent a law school graduate from being allowed to practice law. Medical professionals with misdemeanors related to the mistreatment of vulnerable populations or misuse of drugs may have trouble obtaining the necessary licenses for their careers. Other fields like teaching, accounting and policing can also be difficult for people with criminal records to join.
What If You’re Already in School and are Convicted of a Crime?
What happens next depends on the type and severity of the crime you’re convicted of, and the college or university you are attending. Contact a criminal defense attorney for more information.
What Can You Do to Save Your Future?
If you have criminal charges threatening to impact your future and restrict your educational and professional opportunities, act now to protect yourself. Work with an experienced criminal defense attorney in McAllen, Texas to get your charges reduced or dropped. Taking initiative now is an investment that can totally transform your future for the better. The Tijerina Law Firm can fight for your case today, to give you the best chance of avoiding the lifelong and far-reaching repercussions of a criminal record.
Get started with a free consultation! Call (956) 261-5609 or send a message online.
4016 N. 22nd Street
McAllen, Texas 78504
Phone: (956) 261-5609
Phone: (512) 900-1126