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Can an OVI affect your student financial aid?

Officers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol take drunk driving enforcement seriously. So far this year, OSHP officers have arrested nearly 12,000 drivers on suspicion of operating vehicles while impaired.

An OVI arrest and conviction may expose you to a variety of legal consequences. Can an OVI affect your student financial aid, though?

Government-backed financial aid

The federal government offers Pell grants, loans, work-study and other types of financial aid to many college and university students in the Buckeye State. While the Free Application for Federal Student Aid requires you to disclose drug convictions, it is silent on drunk driving ones. Consequently, by itself, an OVI may have little effect on your government-backed financial aid.

Educational scholarships

Private scholarships may be an entirely different story. To know whether you may lose this money, you must understand the rules of the scholarship program. Many private organizations and schools have codes of conduct scholarship recipients must follow. If an OVI violates an applicable code, program administrators may yank your funds. You may also have to repay the money you have already spent.

Additional expenses

Regardless of whether you lose financial aid after an OVI arrest or conviction, an OVI may leave you with additional education-related expenses to pay. For example, your college may prohibit individuals with criminal records from living on campus. If so, you may have to pay more for an apartment away from your school.

Whether you are going to lose financial aid after your OVI arrest likely depends on the type of financial aid you receive. Nevertheless, because you are likely to incur additional expenses, fighting OVI charges may help you pay for your education.