College is a time of growth and exploration. It is a time of discovering what you want to do with the rest of your life. It is trial and error.

However, things can go seriously wrong if you commit a criminal offense. Elements of your life can wind up affected and the repercussions can go on and on. Take a look at some of the side effects of a criminal conviction in college.

You may lose your financial assistance

If you rely on financial aid from the government and commit a crime, your chances of keeping that aid diminish. A criminal conviction at any point before and during college makes the probability of losing federal money likely. If you are not in school at the time of the offense, such as over summer break, you may not lose your financial assistance.

Not all crimes have the same consequences, as well. Financial aid loss may only apply to certain tiers of criminal activity such as drug-related offenses. Completing an approved drug rehabilitation program may allow you to re-qualify for grant money.

Post-graduate schools may reject you

Your job aspirations may lead you to graduate or professional school. However, if your record now includes a criminal conviction, these schools may reject your application for admission. You may think that you can lie and save yourself the trouble; however, if you received a conviction while in undergraduate school, your current school may have it on your academic record.

Your job prospects may decrease

Some jobs do not allow any criminal conviction over the age of 18. Most law enforcement agencies, for example, do not accept applicants with a blemish more than a traffic ticket on their record. Beyond this, applying for jobs usually requires a complete background check. Therefore, almost any employer can view your criminal record.

A solid defense and post-conviction strategies such as appeals or expungements may be available to you, depending on the circumstances surrounding your charges.