Many college students may think that what happens in college, stays in college. However, if a student gets a criminal conviction, the consequences may follow him or her off-campus. It is important for students to understand how a conviction can affect their lives in the long-term. 

Financial consequences 

Many students may rely on federal funding to pay for their education. According to Federal Student Aid, students may not be able to receive federal funding if they get a drug conviction on their records. A student’s particular circumstances usually determine whether he or she is still eligible for this funding. Some students might get a drug conviction on their record while they receive federal funding for their education. In this situation, a student’s eligibility might get suspended. Sometimes students may be able to regain their eligibility if they pass two drug tests or attend a drug rehabilitation program. However, it is important to remember that these steps do not remove the conviction from a student’s record. They simply allow a student to requalify for federal education funding. 

It is important for students to remember that certain types of convictions may make them ineligible for Federal Pell Grants. A student with a sexual offense conviction, for example, typically cannot receive this kind of funding. Sometimes a student may face incarceration after a criminal conviction. In this situation, students may also have reduced access to federal student loans. 

Employment consequences 

Some students may think they will not face consequences for a criminal conviction once they graduate. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, students with criminal convictions may not be able to receive an occupational license. It is important for students to remember that they may need a license to work in a number of fields. In Pennsylvania, the law usually does not allow licensing agencies to look at an arrest if a person did not receive a conviction. However, the law generally allows these agencies to consider convictions. This means that a college conviction may sometimes keep a student from entering a profession.