If you are in the final semester of your high school years, you are probably about ready to walk across the stage and pick up your diploma. You are not stopping there, though. Instead, you have plans to attend the college or university of your dreams.

After your graduation party, you must be careful not to drink and drive. That is, a DUI arrest has some significant legal penalties. You may not realize, however, that driving under the influence may harm your educational plans. Here are four potential consequences of a DUI arrest:

Financial assistance 

When planning to pay for higher education, most students complete the FAFSA. While a simple DUI arrest is not likely to affect your ability to compete for federally backed student loans and grants, other criminal conduct may. For example, if you have drugs in your vehicle at the time of your arrest, some funding may become unavailable.

Student housing 

If you plan to live in the dorms or another type of student housing, your personal conduct is important. After all, colleges and universities often check the backgrounds of prospective residents. If your school prevents those with a DUI arrest from living on campus, you may have to look for an apartment elsewhere. This may cause you to miss out on much of what makes the college experience special. 

Extracurricular activities 

You probably do not want to spend all of your time studying. Instead, you may want to join a sports team, intramural group or leadership program. While the university you attend may not care about a DUI arrest, many colleges limit extracurricular activities to those who have a clean criminal history.

Clearly, a DUI arrest or conviction may derail your educational plans. Therefore, if you are facing charges for driving drunk, you likely want to defend yourself aggressively. By understanding the potential educational consequences that often come with a DUI, you can better plan for protecting your future.