Craig KuharyCriminal Defense
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A criminal conviction may complicate your educational plans

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan recognized the importance of education, saying, “Education is the premise of promise, in every society, in every family.” Whether you want to pursue a professional career, learn more about a certain topic or simply better yourself, going to college is usually an effective strategy. If you have a criminal record, though, you may face some roadblocks. 

Pursuing a formal education is never easy. After all, students must make certain sacrifices to achieve their goals. Those who have a criminal conviction in their past, though, may have a harder time obtaining admission to a college or university. As such, if you face criminal charges, you likely want to work diligently to minimize the effect on your schooling options. 


On some college and university applications, officials ask about criminal history. They may also do so during the interview process. While your conviction may prohibit you from gaining admission, you do not want to be untruthful. 

Financial assistance 

As you probably know, attending a college or university can be tremendously expensive. Fortunately, many students have access to federal aid and other types of financial assistance. If you have a drug conviction on your record, though, you probably are not eligible to receive financial aid. You should not assume you are out of luck, however. Rather, check with each program to better understand its requirements and limitations. 


If you can remove a criminal conviction from your record through the expunction process, you do not have to report that conviction to university officials. The same is true for sealed court records. As such, before applying for admission, you may want to explore your post-conviction options. 

Completing a course of study at a college or university is often an effective way to secure financial freedom. While a criminal conviction may complicate your educational plans, you may have some options you have not considered. By understanding how convictions affect higher education, you can likely better plan for your future.

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