Financial Aid/Scholarships and DUI

A DUI can affect your ability to qualify for scholarships and student loans, especially federal financial aid.

DUI is treated as a criminal offense, not a traffic violation. Unfortunately, this means a DUI conviction can follow you for years and affect many aspects of your life—including getting an education. If you have a DUI on your record, it can become difficult to get financial aid. But the exact restrictions depend on the kind of aid you’re seeking.

Federal financial aid (including federal student loans) has the most restrictions. Factors that can count against you include:

  • Whether you are currently in jail or prison for the DUI
  • Whether you have any drug charges on your record
  • Whether your DUI was a felony charge or a misdemeanor

Generally, DUI convicts who are felons or are in prison have the most restrictions. If you are currently incarcerated, but you’ll be out before school starts, you face less restrictions. And if you have restrictions because of a drug charge, you may be able to waive them by completing drug tests or addiction treatment.

Private scholarships offered by a business, a nonprofit, or an individual do not have these restrictions. Each one will set its own rules for eligibility. Many will not even ask about your criminal record.

Student loans that are not federally funded will also have less restrictions. These loans are usually funded by a bank, and the bank will be more concerned with your credit and other factors. But a bank will consider your criminal record as well. Local credit unions may have more options than a traditional bank.

You can all the eligibility rules for federal financial aid here. It may also help to get your DUI expunged.

Have you been charged with DUI? We can connect you with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer and get you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your free consultation today.

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