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What are the consequences of a drug charge during college?

Occasional or repeated drug use is extremely common during college. Some students use drugs throughout their undergraduate years, somehow able to fly under the radar. Others may simply be in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Regardless of circumstance, a drug charge could result in long-lasting consequences. 

Depending on factors such as the type of drug, the intent behind the possession and the amount confiscated, a student's life may be affected in the following ways:

  • Educationally. If college officials have reason to believe a student has violated their drug policy, they are likely to take punitive action which may include fines, probation or suspension. Officials may have the right to notify appropriate staff or faculty members who may remove the student from athletics or clubs. Also, any future graduate schools may require a record of undergraduate student conduct. A drug charge on a student's record could result in denied admission to graduate programs.
  • Financially. In addition to fines for violating the campus drug policy, students with a drug charge who rely on financial aid may have their government aid rejected. Government aid is reserved for students in good standing.
  • Legally. Certain drug charges capture the attention of the local police. If that is the case, they may decide to pursue their own charges against your child. Legal penalties may include additional fines, a criminal record and possible jail time.

One of the hardest things about parenthood is watching your child leave home, knowing that they will undoubtedly make real mistakes, with real consequences. Although you cannot prevent mistakes, you may be able to help them navigate the charges and the consequences.

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