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Will a DUI limit your child’s college options?

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2024 | DUI/DWI

If your teen has been charged with DUI, you’ve likely got a lot of fears and concerns. One may be how it will affect their ability to get into college. Whether they’re in high school and applying to colleges now or in the near future or they’re already in college and planning to transfer to another one that more closely aligns with their career interests, will having a DUI on their record limit their choices?

While private schools generally can inquire about an applicant’s criminal history, it’s not so easy for public colleges and universities – at least here in Colorado. That’s thanks to the Ensuring Access to Higher Education Act that limits the types of criminal offenses and disciplinary actions that state schools can ask about on applications, nor can they reject them if they learn about a conviction through other means. (Note that they can still ask about violent offenses.)

Of course, unless your child has their heart set on going to the University of Colorado or other state school in Colorado, a DUI conviction could potentially derail one or more college applications. It can also affect their financial aid options.

Pay attention to the applications – and be honest

If your child already has a DUI or other offense on their record, it’s important to review the application packages carefully. They certainly shouldn’t fail to disclose required information or provide false information. If they have to disclose it, it’s important that they’re prepared to discuss what the experience taught them and to focus on their goals for the future.

If your child hasn’t yet been convicted, your focus should be on avoiding that. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to get the charge dropped or lessened to a charge with less stigma than a DUI – like reckless driving, perhaps. Having experienced legal guidance can help protect their rights and their future.