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Do you lose student financial aid after a DWI conviction?

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2020 | dwi

Without question, some harsh penalties often follow a conviction for driving while impaired in the Lone Star State. Even for a first-time offense, you may face up to a $2,000 fine and 180 days in jail. You may also lose your driving privileges.

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid tells you whether you qualify for government-backed funding, such as Pell grants, repayable loans or work-study funds. The FAFSA does not inquire about drunk driving convictions, however. Consequently, by itself, a DWI conviction is not likely to affect your federal student aid.

Private scholarships may be a different story

The average yearly in-state tuition in Texas is nearly $16,000. While government-backed financial aid may help you pay educational expenses, you may also need to look for private scholarship funds. To know whether your scholarship money is on the line, you must check the program’s rules.

Nevertheless, many scholarship programs require recipients to follow a code of conduct. If a DWI arrest or conviction violates this code, you may lose your private scholarship.

You may have to pay higher education-related costs

Just like private scholarship programs, your college or university may also have a code of conduct. If this policy prohibits impaired driving, a DWI conviction may force you to pay higher education-related costs.

For example, if you cannot live in an on-campus dormitory because of your conviction, paying higher rent in an off-campus house or apartment may be your only option.

Whether your DWI arrest is apt to increase your educational expenses depends on many factors. Still, defending yourself aggressively against charges may be an integral part of financing your four-year degree.