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College consequences for underage drinking

When a minor in college is caught by law enforcement for drinking, they have to face the consequences that the law sees fit for them. From license suspension to fines, a minor student needs to prepare themselves for the results. Local law enforcement has its consequences for underage drinking, but can the student’s college apply additional effects?

Underage drinking is a severe problem in this country. Underage drinkers account for approximately 11% of all alcohol consumption each year. Colleges do not want to have a reputation as being a breeding ground for this behavior, and they act to prevent it when they catch wind of it.

Consequences colleges can give

Colleges can choose from any number of punishments for underage drinking, including:

  • Deferred suspension: this is a punishment that results in automatic suspension of the student commits another infraction in the specified amount of time. This type of punishment can also mean that the student cannot live in dorms during the deferred suspension, and any credits they earn at another facility during the suspension would not transfer back to the original college.
  • Loss of financial aid: a student can lose their loan privileges with a conviction for drinking underage. Losing loan eligibility can be an indirect way of not being able to attend college at all.
  • Denial of student housing: while deferred suspension can temporarily deny a student the right to live in on-campus housing, a college can outright refuse a student access campus living permanently.
  • Expulsion: depending on the severity of the infraction and how many prior occurrences there are, a college may see fit to expel a student. Being expelled can also may it more challenging to earn admittance to another college.

Regardless of what local law enforcement penalizes a student with, a college has the right to apply its consequences.

Know what to expect

Colleges are their separate entity when it comes to dispensing punishment for underage drinking, or any other crime their students commit. Their judgment is their own, and it pays to respect that authority.