How does a criminal conviction affect college students?

| Apr 12, 2021 | Campus Crimes |

The college years are typically a time when young adults are living on their own for the first time, figuring out who they are and having fun doing so. It is common for students to engage in partying, which is not illegal, but sometimes things go too far and a criminal conviction may be the result.

Being convicted of a crime on campus, whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony, is not only frightening, but it could also have an effect on a student’s future in college.

Disciplinary actions

Most universities have rules in place on how they handle a student’s criminal conviction. The action a college takes often depends on the type of crime and where the crime took place. If the crime takes place on campus, some of the common disciplinary actions a college may take include the following:

  • Suspension
  • Mandated counseling
  • Loss of scholarships
  • Community service
  • Expulsion

Universities typically work closely with the courts for off-campus crimes to determine an appropriate course of action.

The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program

In Pennsylvania, students who are first-time offenders may take advantage of the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program to quickly move through the justice system and even have their records expunged. If the ARD program accepts students’ applications, they may have to pay a fine, do community service and remain on probation for a time, but they can avoid more serious consequences.

Criminal convictions can feel like the end of a students’ chances to complete college, and there are certainly some heavy consequences. However, first-time offenders in Pennsylvania may be able to circumvent more serious repercussions.