A college student who was arrested has more to worry about than just going to criminal court and the direct consequences of a criminal charge. A student who is arrested may also face discipline at the university level which could result in suspension or expulsion. Both an arrest and a disciplinary suspension can have serious consequences on a student’s financial aid or scholarships.
First, if a student receives a conviction in criminal court for a drug charge he will be ineligible for financial aid for a period of time. To learn more about the length of financial aid disqualification check the federal statute governing financial aid, 20 U.S.C 1091(r).
Similarly, any arrest or conviction could affect a scholarship depending on the terms of the grant. Many academic and athletic scholarships have requirements about student behavior and may contain a specific clause about criminal arrests.
Second, a university disciplinary charge could result in a suspension. Many times these suspensions take effect immediately – even in the middle of a semester for which tuition has already been paid. In order to qualify to keep financial aid a student must be currently enrolled and progressing academically. Therefore, if a student is suspended from school for a period of time then he will lose the current financial aid.
Worse yet, a disciplinary suspension could result in permanent loss of an academic or athletic scholarship. Many times a student receives a suspension as a result of a disciplinary proceeding and eventually returns to school after the suspension period, however, he may not be eligible to receive the scholarship again.